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Lord Wellington's sieges vindicated — Operations in Spain — State of Gallicia 

— Change of commanders — Bonet's operations in the Asturias — Activity 
of the Partidas — Their system of operations — Mina captures a large convoy 
at Arlaban — Bessieres contracts his position — Bonet abandons the Asturias 

— Santocildes advances into Leon — French dismantle Astorga — Skirmish 
on the Orbigo — General inefficiency of the Gallicians and Asturians — 
Operations in the eastern provinces — State of Aragon — State of Catalonia — 
State of Valencia — Suchet marches against Tortoza — Fails to burn the boat- 
bridge there — M'Donald remains at Gerona — The Valencians and Catalonians 
combine operations against Suchet — O'Donnel enters Tortoza — Makes a sally 
and is repulsed — The Valencians defeated near Uldecona — Operations of the 
seventh corps— M'Donald reforms the discipline of the troops— "Marches with 
a convoy to Barcelona — Returns to Gerona and dismantles the out-works of 
that place— O'Donnel's plans — M'Donald marches with a second convoy — 
Reaches Barcelona and returns to Gerona — Marches with a third convoy — 
Forces the pass of Ordal — Enters Reus and opens the communications with 
Suchet . . .......... 1 


O'Donnel withdraws his troops from Falcet and surrounds the seventh corps — 
M'Donald retires to Lerida — Arranges a new plan with Suchet — Ravages the 
plains of Urgel and the higher valleys — The people become desperate — O'Donnel 
cuts the French communication with the Ampurdan — Makes a forced march 
towards Gerona — Surprises Swartz at Abispal — Takes Filieu and Palamos — 
Is wounded and returns to Taragona — Campo Verde marches to the Cerdana — 
M'Donald enters Solsona— Campo Verde returns — Combat of Cardona — The 
French retreat to Guisona, and the seventh corps returns to Gerona — 
M'Donald marches with a fourth convoy to Barcelona — Makes new roads — 
Advances to Reus — The Spaniards harass his flanks — He forages the Garriga 
district and joins the third corps — Operations of Suchet— General Leval dies — 
Operations of the Partidas — Plan of the secret junta to starve Aragon — General 
Chlopiski defeats Villa Campa — Suchet's difficulties — He assembles the nota- 
bles of Aragon and reorganizes that province — He defeats and takes general 
Navarro at Falcet — Bassecour's operations— He is defeated at Uldecona . 19 

a 2 



Tortoza — Its governor feeble— The Spaniards outside disputing and negligent — 
Captain Fane lands at Palamos — Is taken — O'Donncl resigns and is succeeded 
by Campo Verde— Description of Tortoza — It is invested — A division of the 
seventh corps placed under Suchet's command — Siege of Tortoza — The place 
negotiates — Suchet's daring conduct — The governor surrenders— Suchet's acti- 
vity — Habert takes the fort of Balaguer— M'Donald moves to Reus — Sarsfield 
defeats and kills Ugenio— M'Donald marches to Lerida — Suchet goes to Zara- 
goza — The confidence of the Catalans revives — The manner in which the 
belligerents obtained provisions explained— The Catalans attack Perillo, and 
Campo Verde endeavours to surprise Monjuic, but is defeated with great loss — 
Napoleon changes the organisation of the third and seventh corps— The 
former becomes the army of Aragon — The latter the army of Catalonia 36 


Suchet prepares to besiege Taragona — The power of the Partidas described — 
Their actions— They are dispersed on the frontier of Aragon — The Valencians 
fortify Saguntum — Are defeated a second time at Uldecona-^Suchet comes to 
Lerida — M'Donald passes with an escort from them to Barcelona — His troops 
burn Manresa — Sarsfield harasses his march — Napoleon divides the invasion 
of Catalonia into two parts— Sinking state of the province— Rovira surprises 
Fort Fernando de Figueres— Operations which follow that event . . 52 


Suchet's skilful conduct — His error about English finance — Outline of his arrange- 
ments for the siege of Taragona — He makes French contracts for the supply of 
his army — Forages the high valleys and the frontiers of Castile and Valencia — 
Marches to Taragona — Description of that place — Campo Verde enters the 
place — Suchet invests it — Convention relative to the sick concluded between 
St. Cyr and Reding faithfully observed— Sarsfield comes to Momblanch — 
Skirmish with the Valencians at Amposta and Rapita — Siege of Taragona — 
Rapita and Momblanch abandoned by Suchet — Taragona reinforced from Va- 
lencia — The Olivo stormed — Campo Verde quits Taragona, and Senens de 
Contreras assumes the chief command — Sarsfield enters the place and takes 
charge of the Port or lower town — French break ground before the lower 
town — The Francoli stormed — Campo Verde's plans to succour the place — 
General Abbe is called to the siege — Sarsfield quits the place — The lower town 
is stormed— The upper town attacked — Suchet's difficulties increase — Campo 
Verde comes to the succour of the place, but retires without effecting any 
thing — Colonel Skerrett arrives in the harbour with a British force— Does not 
land— Gallant conduct of the Italian soldier Bianchini — The upper town is 
stormed with dreadful slaughter 70 


Suchet marches against Campo Verde— Seizes Villa Nueva de Sitjes and makes 
fifteen hundred prisoners — Campo Verde retires to Igualada — Suchet goes to 
Barcelona — A council of war held at Cervera by Campo Verde — It is resolved 
to abandon the province as a lost country — Confusion ensues — Lacy arrives 
and assumes the command — Eroles throws himself into Montserrat — Suchet 


sends detachments to the valley of Congosta and that of Vich, and opens the 
communication with M'Donald at Figueras— Returns to Reus— Created a 
marshal— Destroys the works of the lower town of Taragona — Takes Mont- 
serrat — Negotiates with Cuesta for an exchange of the French prisoners in the 
island of Cabrera— Stopped by the interference of Mr. Wellesley— Mischief 
occasioned by the privateers -Lacy reorganizes the province— Suchet returns to 
Zaragoza, and chases the Partidas from the frontier of Aragon— Habert defeats 
the Valencians at Amposta— The Somatenes harass the French forts near - 
Montserrat -Figueras surrenders to McDonald— Napoleon's clemency— Ob- 
servations— Operations in Valencia and Murcia 100 



State of political affairs — Situation of king Joseph — His disputes with Napoleon- 
He resigns his crown and quits Spain — The emperor grants him new terms and 
obliges him to return — Political state of France as regards the war . .120 


Political state of England with reference to the war — Retrospective view of 
affairs — Enormous subsidies granted to Spain — The arrogance and rapacity 
of the juntas encouraged by Mr. Canning — His strange proceedings— Mr. 
Stuart's abilities and true judgment of affairs shewn — He proceeds to Vienna — 
State of politics in Germany — He is recalled — The misfortunes of the Spaniards 
principally owing to Mr. Canning's incapacity — The evil genius of the Penin- 
sula — His conduct at Lisbon — Lord Wellesley 's policy totally different from 
Mr. Canning's— Parties in the cabinet — Lord Wellesley and Mr. Perceval- 
Character of the latter — His narrow policy — Letters describing the imbecility 
of the cabinet in 1810 and 1811 131 


Political state of Spain— Disputes amongst the leaders — Sir J. Moore's early and 
just perception of the state of affairs confirmed by lord Wellington's expe- 
rience — Points of interest affecting England— The reinforcement of the mili ary 
force — The claims of the princess Carlotta — The prevention of a war with Por- 
tugal—The question of the colonics — Cisnero's conduct at Dueiios Ayres — 
Duke of Infantada demanded by Mexico — Proceedings of the English minis- 
ters — Governor of Curac^a— Lord Wellesley proposes a mediation— Mr. Bar- 
daxi's strange assertion — Lord Wellington's judgment on the question— His 
discernment, sagacity, and wisdom shewn 146 


Political state of Portugal — Mr. Villiers' mission expensive and inefficient — 
Mr. Stuart succeeds him — Finds every thing in confusion — His efforts to restore 
order successful at first — Cortes proposed by lord Wellesley — Opposed by the 
regency, by Mr. Stuart, and by lord Wellington — Observations thereon — 
Changes in the regency — Its partial and weak conduct — Lord Strangford's 
proceedings at Rio Janeiro only productive of mischief — Mr. Stuart's efforts 


opposed, and successfully by the Souza faction — Lord Wellington thinks of 
abandoning the contest— Writes to the prince regent of Portugal— The regency 
continues to embarrass the English general — Effect of their conduct upon the 
arm y — Miserable state of the country — The British cabinet grants a fresh 
subsidy to Portugal — Lord Wellington complains that he is supplied with only 
one-sixth of the money necessary to carry on the contest — Minor follies of the 
regency — The cause of Massena's harshness to the people of Portugal ex- 
plained — Case of Mascarhenas — His execution a foul murder — Lord Welling- 
ton reduced to the greatest difficulties — He and Mr. Stuart devise a plan to 
supply the army by trading in grain — Lord Wellington's embarrassments 
increase— Reasons why he does not abandon Portugal— His plan of cam- 




Second English siege of Badajos — Means of the allies very scanty — Place 
invested— San Christoval assaulted — The allies repulsed — Second assault fails 
likewise — The siege turned into a blockade — Observations . , . 182 


General Spencer's operations in Beira — Pack blows up Almeida — Marmont 
marches by the passes to the Tagus, and Spencer marches to the Alemtejo — 
Soult and Marmont advance to succour Badajos — The siege is raised, and the 
allies pass the Guadiana — Lord Wellington's position on the Caya described — 
Skirmish of cavalry in which the British are defeated— Critical period of the 
war — French marshals censured for not giving battle — Lord Wellington's 
firmness — Inactivity of the Spaniards — Blake moves to the Condado de Niebla 
He attacks the castle of Niebla — The French armies retire from Badajos, and 
Soult marches to Andalusia — Succours the castle of Niebla — Blake flies to 
Ayamonte — Sails for Cadiz, leaving Ballestcros in the Condado — French move 
against him— He embarks his infantry and sends his cavalry through Portugal 
to Estremadura — Blake lands at Almeria and joins the Murcian army — Goes 
to Valencia, and during his absence Soult attacks his army — Rout of Baza— 
Soult returns to Andalusia — His actions eulogised .... 195 


State of the war in Spain — Marmont ordered to take a central position in the 
valley of the Tagus — Constructs forts at Almaraz — French affairs assume a 
favourable aspect — Lord Wellington's difficulties augment— Remonstrances 
sent to the Brazils — System of intelligence described — Lord Wellington secretly 
prepares to besiege Ciudad Rodrigo — Marches into Beira, leaving Hill in the 
Alemtejo — French cavalry take a convoy of wine, get drunk and lose it again 
— General Dorscnne invades Gallicia— Is stopped by the arrival of the allies 
on the Agueda — Blockade of Ciudad Rodrigo. — Carlos Espana commences the 
formation of a new Spanish army — Preparations for the siege— Hill sends a 
brigade to Castello Branco 215 


The garrison of Ciudad Rodrigo make some successful excursions — Morillo 
operates against the French in Estremadura, is defeated and driven to Albu- 
querque — Civil affairs of Portugal — Bad conduct of the regency — They imagine 


the war to be decided, and endeavour to drive lord Wellington away from 
Portugal — Indications that Napoleon would assume the command in the Penin- 
sula observed by lord Wellington— He expects a combined attack on Lisbon 
by sea and land — Marmont and Dorsennc collect convoys and unite at 
Tamames — Advance to succour Ciudad Rodrigo — Combat of Elbodon — Allies 
retire to Guinaldo— To Aldea Ponte— Combat of Aldea Pontc— The allies 
retire to Soita— The French retire— Observations 229 



State of the war in Spain — Northern provinces — State of Gallicia — Attempt to 
introduce English officers into the Spanish service — Trafficked for by the 
Spanish government — Repelled by the Spanish military— The English govern- 
ment encourage the Partidas— Lord Wellington sends the chiefs presents — 
His after opinion of them — Sir H. Douglas succeeds general Walker — Miserable 
state of Gallicia described — Disputes between the civil and military — Anomal- 
ous proceedings of the English government — Gross abuses in the Spanish army 
— Expedition against America fitted out in Gallicia with the English supplies 
intended for the defence of the province — Sir H. Douglas's policy towards the 
Partidas criticized — Events in the Asturias — Santander surprised by Porlier — 
Reille and Caffarelli scour Biscay and the Rioja — Bonet invades the Asturias — 
Defeats Moscoso, Paul Lodosa, and Mendizabel, and occupies Oviedo — In 
Gallicia the people prefer the French to their own armies — In Estremadura, 
Drouet joins Girard and menaces Hill — These movements parts of a great plan 
to be conducted by Napoleon in person 254 


Conquest of Valencia — Suchet's preparations described — Napoleon's system emi- 
nently methodical — State of Valencia — Suchet invades that province — Blake 
concentrates his force to fight — His advanced guard put to flight by the French 
cavalry — He retires to the city of Valencia — Siege of Saguntum — The French 
repulsed in an assault — Palombini defeats Obispo near Segorbe — Harispe 
defeats C. O'Donnel at Beneguazil— Oropesa taken — The French batteries 
open against Saguntum — Second assault repulsed — Suchet's embarrassments — 
Operations in his rear in Catalonia — Medas islands taken — Lacy proposes to 
form a general depot at Palamos — Discouraged by sir E. Pellew — The Spa- 
niards blow up the works of Berga, and fix their chief depot at Busa — Descrip- 
tion of that place — Lacy surprises the French in the town of Igualada — 
Eroles takes a convoy near Jorbas — The French quit the castle of Igualada 
and join the garrison of Montserrat — That place abandoned — Eroles takes 
Cervera and Belpuig — Beats the French national guards in Cerdana — Invades 
and ravages the French frontier— Returns by Ripol and takes post in the pass 
of Garriga — Milans occupies Mataro — Sarsfield embarks and sails to the 
coast of the Ampurdan — These measures prevent the march of the French 
convoy to Barcelona — State of Aragon — The Empecinado and Duran invade 
it on one side — Mina invades it on the other— Calatayud taken — Severoli's 
division reinforces Musnier, and the Partidas are pursued to Daroca and 
Molino — Mina enters the Cinco Villas — Defeats eleven hundred Italians at 
Aycrbe — Carries his prisoners to Motrico in Biscay — Mazzuchclli defeats the 
Empecinado at Cubiliejos — Blake calls in all his troops and prepares for a 


battle — Suchet's position described — Blake's dispositions — Battle of Saguntum 
— Observations 266 


Suchet resolves to invest the city of Valencia — Blake reverts to his former 
system of acting on the French rear— Napoleon orders general Reille to rein- 
force Suchet with two divisions — Lacy disarms the Catalan Somatenes — Their 
ardour diminishes— The French destroy several bands, blockade the Medas 
islands, and occupy Mataro — Several towns affected to the French interest — 
Bad conduct of the privateers — Lacy encourages assassination — Suchet ad- 
vances to the Guadalaviar — Spanish defences described — The French force the 
passage of the river— Battle of Valencia— Mahi flies to A lcira— Suchet invests 
the Spanish camp — Blake attempts to break out, is repulsed — The camp aban- 
doned — The city is bombarded— Commotion within the walls — Blake surrenders 
with his whole army — Suchet created duke of Albufera — Shameful conduct of 
the junta of the province — Montbrun arrives with three divisions — Summons 
Alicant, and returns to Toledo— Villa Campa marches from Carthagena to 
Albaracin — Gandia and Denia taken by the French — They besiege Peniscola 
— Lacy menaces Taragona — Defeats a French battalion at Villa Seca— Battle 
of Altafulla — Siege of Peniscola — The French army in Valencia weakened by 
draughts — Suchet's conquests cease— Observations .... 291 


Operations in Andalusia and Estremadura — Description of Souk's position — 
Events in Estremadura — Ballesteros arrives at Algesiras — Advances to Alcala 
de Gazules — Is driven back — Soult designs to besiege Tarifa — Concludes a con- 
vention with the emperor of Morocco — It is frustrated by England— Ballesteros 
cooped up under the guns of Gibraltar by Semele and Godinot — Colonel 
Skerrett sails for Tarifa — The French march against Tarifa — Are stopped in 
the pass of La Pena by the fire of the British ships — They retire from San 
Roque — General Godinot shoots himself — General Hill surprises general Girard 
at Aroyo Molino, and returns to the Alemtejo — French reinforced in Estre- 
madura — Their movements checked by insubordination amongst the troops — 
Hill again advances — Endeavours to surprise the French at Merida — Fine 
conduct of captain Neveux — Hill marches to Almendralejos to fight Drouet — 
The latter retires — Phillipon sends a party from Badajos to forage the banks 
of the Guadiana — Colonel Abercrombie defeats a squadron of cavalry at Fuente 
del Maestro — Hill returns to the Alemtejo 313 


Soult resolves to besiege Tarifa — Ballesteros is driven a second time under the 
guns of Gibraltar— Laval invests Tarifa— Siege of Tarifa — The assault re- 
pulsed — Siege is raised — The true history of this siege exposed — Colonel 
Skerrett not the author of the success 329 



Political situation of king Joseph — Political state of Spain— Political state of 


Portugal — Military operations — Julian Sanchez captures the governor of Ciudad 
Rodrigo — General Thiebauli introduces a convoy and a new governor into that 
fortress — Difficulty of military operations on the Agueda — The allied army, 
being pressed for provisions, takes wide cantonments, and preparations are 
secretly made for the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo 345 


Review of the different changes of the war — Enormous efforts of Napoleon- 
Lord Wellington's situation described — His great plans explained — His firm- 
ness and resolution under difficulties — Distressed state of his army— The 
prudence and ability of lord Fitzroy Somerset — Dissemination of the French 
army— Lord Wellington seizes the opportunity to besiege Ciudad Rodrigo . 362 


Means collected for the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo — Major Sturgeon throws a 
bridge over the Agueda — Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo — Colonel Colborne storms 
fort Francesco — The scarcity of transport baulks lord Wellington's calculations 
— Marmont collects troops — Plan of the attack changed — Two breaches are 
made and the city is stormed — Observations 375 


Execution of the French partizans and English deserters found in Ciudad 
Rodrigo — The works are repaired — Marmont collects his army at Salamanca — 
Bonet abandons the Asturias — Souham advances to Matilla — Hill arrives at 
Castello Branco — The French army harassed by winter marches and by the 
Partidas — Marmont again spreads his divisions — Agueda overflows, and all 
communication with Ciudad Rodrigo is cut off— Lord Wellington prepares to 
besiege Badajos— Preliminary measures— Impeded by bad weather— Difficulties 
and embarrassments arise — The allied army marches in an unmilitary manner 
towards the Alemtejo— Lord Wellington proposes some financial measures — 
Gives up Ciudad to the Spaniards— The fifth division is left in Beira — Carlos 
d'Espagna and general Victor Alten arc posted on the Yeltes— The Portuguese 
militia march for the Coa — Lord Wellington reaches Elvas — He is beset with 
difficulties — Falls sick, but recovers rapidly 390 


The allies cross the Guadiana— Beresford invests Badajos— Generals Graham 
and Hill command the covering army — Drouet retires to Hornaches in the 
Llerena— Third English siege of Badajos— Sally of the garrison repulsed— 
Works impeded by the rain— The besieged rake the trenches from the right 
bank of the Guadiana— The fifth division is called up to the siege— The river 
rises and carries away the bridge, and the siege is upon the point of being 
raised— Two flying bridges are established— The fifth division invest St. 
Christoval and the bridge-head— The Picurina is stormed— The batteries open 
against the San Roque and the body of the place— The covering army drive 
general Drouet from the Serena into the Morena on the side of Cordova — 
Marmont collects his forces in Leon — The Spanish officers and the Portuguese 
government neglect the supplies of Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida — Soult ad- 
vances from Cordova towards Llerena — The fifth division is brought over the 
Guadiana— The works of the siege arc pressed— An attempt to blow up the 


dam of the inundation fails — The two breaches become practicable — Soult 
effects his junction with Drouet and advances to the succour of the place — 
Graham and Hill fall back — The bridge of Merida is destroyed — The assault 
is ordered, but countermanded — A third breach is formed— The fortress is 
stormed with a dreadful slaughter, and the city is sacked by the allies . 399 


The state of Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida obliges lord Wellington to relinquish 
his design of invading Andalusia — Souk's operations described — He reaches 
Villa Franca — Hears of the fall of Badajos and retires — Penne-Villemur and 
Morillo move from the Niebla against Seville — Ballesteros having defeated 
Maransin at Cartama, comes from the Ronda against Seville — A French 
convoy is stopped in the Morena, and the whole of Andalusia is in commotion 
— Seville is saved by the subtlety of a Spaniard in the French interest — 
Ballesteros retires — Assaults Zahara and is repulsed — Sends a division against 
Ossuna, which is also repulsed by the Escopeteros — Drives general Rey from 
Allora to Malaga — Soult marches from Llerena towards Seville, and general 
Conroux brings a brigade up from the Guadalete to attack Ballesteros — Sir 
S. Cotton defeats general Peyreymont's cavalry near Usagre — Soult concen- 
trates his army near Seville to fight the allies — Lord Wellington marches to 
Beira — Marmont's operations — He marches against Ciudad Rodrigo — Carlos 
d'Espana retires towards Almeida and Victor Alten towards Penamacor — 
The French appear before Almeida — General Trant arrives on the Cabcca 
Negro — The French retire and Trant unites with J. Wilson at Guarda — 
Marmont advances to Sabugal — Victor Alten abandons Penamacor and Castello 
Branco, and crosses the Tagus — The Portuguese general Lecor opposes the 
enemy with skill and courage — Marmont drives Trant from Guarda and defeats 
his militia on the Mondego — Lord Wellington crosses the Tagus and enters 
Castello Branco — Marmont's position perilous — Lord Wellington advances to 
attack him — He retreats over the Agueda — The allied army is spread in wide 
cantonments, and the fortresses are victualled 434 


General observations — The campaign considered — The justice of Napoleon's 
views vindicated, and Marmont's operations censured as the cause of the 
French misfortunes — The operations of the army of the centre and of the south 
examined — Lord Wellington's operations eulogized — Extraordinary adventures 
of captain Colquhon Grant — The operations of the siege of Badajos examined 
— Lord Wellington's conduct vindicated 450 


No. I. 

Justificatory papers relating to the state of Spain at different periods . 483 

No. II. 
Siege of Taragona 498 

No. III. 
Political state of king Joseph . 512 


No. IV. 

Conduct of the English government, and extracts from Mr. Canning's and lord 
Welleslcy's instructions to Mr. Stuart 541 

No. V. 
Marmont and Dorscnne's operations ■ 549 

No. VI. 

Siege of Tarifa, with anonymous extracts from memoirs and letters of different 
officers employed in the siege 563 

No. VII. 

Storming of Chid ad Rodrigo and Badajos, with anonymous extracts from 
memoirs and letters of officers engaged in, or eye-witnesses of the action 
described . 571 

No. VIII. 

English papers relating to Soult's and Marmont's operations, and French papers 
relating to the same 578 

No. IX. 

Summary of the force of the Anglo-Portuguese army at different periods, exclu- 
sive of drummers and fifers, with summary of the French force at different 
periods, extracted from the imperial muster-rolls 584 


No. 1. Explanatory Sketch of the Siege of Tortoza . . . . to face page 41 

2. Explanatory Sketch of the Siege of Taragona . . . to face page 75 

3. Explanatory Sketch of the Operations and Combat of 

Elbodon to face page 240 

4. Explanatory Sketch of the Siege and Battle of Saguntum to face page 283 

5. Explanatory Sketch of the Siege and Battle of Valencia to face page 297 

6. Explanatory Sketch of general Hill's Operations . . to face page 324 

7. Explanatory Sketch of the Siege of Tarifa .... to face page 331 
Explanatory Sketch of the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo . to face page 386 
Explanatory Sketch of the Siege of Badajos, 1812 . . to face page 419 



'age 3, line 23, for " armies" read " parties." 
. . 35, . . 9, for "prisoners" read " provisions. 


In addition to the manuscript authorities used for the former 
volumes, several memoirs, journals, and notes of officers employed 
in the different operations have been consulted for this volume. 
Amongst others, the Journal of general Harvey of the Portuguese 
service, and some original papers supplied by sir Howard Douglas. 

In a recent controversy, I have expressed my belief that the French 
army at Albuera, instead of being more, was less numerous, than I had 
represented it in my account, of that battle. The following letter, since 
procured, decides the question : — 

Kxtrait d'une lettre ecrite de Seville le 4 Mai, 1811, par M. le m ul due 
de Dalmatie, general-en-chef de Varm'ce du midi, a S. A. S. le prince de 
Wagram et de Neufchatel, major- general . 

Le general Latour Maubourg a ete oblige de se replier sur Constantina 
et Alamis, Cordove est menacee par un corps Anglais, Portugais, et 
Espagnol, beaucoup de troupes se concentrent en Estramadure; Badajoz 
est investie. Le general Blake a reuni sur 1'Odiel une armee dequinze a 
seize mille hommes, et paroit se preparer a marcher sur Seville. Le 
restant du quatrieme corps est en operations contre les troupes qui ont 
debauche de Murcie. Si j'enumere bien, je suis en cet instant attaque 
sur divers points par plus de soixante mille hommes independamment de 
troupes qui sont restees a Cadiz et a l'isle de Leon, et de celles qu'il y a 
a Tarrifa, a Algesiras, et a Gibraltar, que je dois contenir, le danger est 
pressant, je dois faire face de tous cotes assurer de nouveaux triomphes 
aux armees de S. M. l'empereur, et 6viter les facheux evenemens, que 
Ton prepare contre 1 'armee du midi. J'espere reussir, mais le succes sera 
complet si les secours que j'attends arrivent apropos; voici mes dispo- 
sitions. Je pars dans quatre jours avec vingt mille hommes, trois mille 
chevaux, et trente pieces de canon, pour rejetter au delade la Guadiana les 
corps ennemis qui se sont repandus en Estremadure, degager Badajos et 
faciliter l'arrivee du general comte d'Erlon. Si les troupes que ce general 
amene peuvent se reunir avec celles que je conduirai et si les troupes qui 
sont parties des armees du nord et du centre, dont j'ai en partie dispose, 
arrivent a terns, j'aurai en Estremadure trente-cinq mille hommes, cinq 
mille chevaux, et quarante pieces de canon de campagne ; alors je livre 
bataille aux ennemis quand bien meme toute l'armee Angloise qui est 
sur le continent y seroit reunie, et ils seront vaincus. 

Si une partie des renforts que j'attends manquent je ferai' avec ce que 
j'aurai, tout ce que pourrai vers le but propose. 

Le ge'neral-en-chef de 1'armC'e imperiale du midi, 

(Signee) M al Due de Dalmatie. 

Pour extraits con formes. 


To her grace the duchess of Abrantes. 

September 11, 1833. 
In the eighth volume of your " Mtmoires" which I have only just seen, 

I find the following passages : — 

" Toutefois, pourquoi done m'etonner de la conduite des Portugais ? 
N'ai je pas vu lei, en France, un des freres d'armes de Junot souffrir 
qu'on imprimat, dans un ouvrage traduit de l'Anglais, des choses re- 

voltantes de faussete sur lui et sur le marechal Ney? Cet ouvrage, 

fait par un colonel Napier, et qui a trouve grace devant le ministere de 
la guerre parce qu'il dit du bien du ministre, m'a et€ donne a moi, a moi 
la veuve de Junot, cornme renfermant des documents authentiques. J'ai 
du y lire une indecente attaque contre la vie privee d'un homme dont on 
ne pouvait dire aucun mal comme militaire dans cette admirable affaire 
de la Convention de Cintra, puisque les Anglais ont fait passer a une 
commission militaire ceux qui l'avaient signed pour PAngleterre; et les 
beaux vers de Childe Harold suffisent seuls a la glohe de Junot, quand 
l'original de cette convention ne serait pas la pour la prouver. Heureuse- 
ment que je le possede, moi, cet original, et meme dans les deux langues. 

II n'est pas dans M. Napier; " 

It is not permitted to a man to discover ill-humour at the expressions 
of a lady; yet when those expressions are dishonouring to him, and that 
reputation and talents are joined to beauty to give them a wide circula- 
tion, it would indicate insensibility to leave them unnoticed. 

To judge of the talents of a general by his conduct in the field has 
always been the undisputed right of every military writer. I will not 
therefore enter upon that subject, because I am persuaded that your grace 
could not mean to apply the words " revolting falsehoods" to a simple 
judgement of the military genius of the duke of Abrantes. Indeed you 
intimate that the offensive passages are those directed against his private 
life, and touching the Convention of Cintra. I think, however, your 
grace has not perused my work with much attention, or you would 
scarcely have failed to perceive that I have given the Convention of 
Cintra at length in the Appendix. 

But, in truth, I have ; only alluded to general Junot's private qualities 
when they bore directly upon his government of Portugal, and, by a 
fresh reference to my work, you will find that I have affirmed nothing 
of my own knowledge. The character of the late duke of Abrantes, as 
drawn by me, is that ascribed to him by the emperor Napoleon, (see 
Las Cases,) and the authority of that great man is expressly quoted. It 
is against Napoleon therefore, and not against me, who am but a 


repeater of his uncontradicted observations, that your resentment should 
Tbe directed. 

If your grace should deign to dispose of any further thought upon me 
or my work, I would venture to suggest a perusal of the Portuguese, 
and English, and Spanish, and German histories of the invasion of 
Portugal; or even a slight examination of only a small part of the innu- 
merable, and some of them very celebrated periodicals which treat of 
that event. You will be then convinced that, so far from having wantonly 
assailed the character of general Junot, I have made no slight effort to 
stem the torrent of abuse with which he has been unjustly over- 
whelmed ; and believe me, madam, that the estimation in which an 
eminent man will be held by the world is more surely to be found in 
the literature of different countries than in the fond recollection of his 
own family. I admired general Junot's daring character, and having 
enough of the soldier in me to like a brave enemy, I have, wherever 
the truth of history would permit, expressed that feeling towards him 
and towards other French generals whose characters and whose acts have 
been alike maligned by party writers in this country : such indeed has 
been my regard for justice on this point, that I have thereby incurred 
the charge of writing with a French rather than a national bias, as your 
grace will discover by referring to my lord Mahon's History of the War 
of the Succession, in which his lordship has done me the honour to 
observe that I have written " by far the best French account yet pub- 
lished of the Peninsular War." 

For my own part I still think that to refrain from vulgar abuse of a 
gallant enemy will not be deemed un-English, although lord Mahon 
considers it wholly French ; but his lordship's observation incontestibly 
proves that I have discovered no undue eagerness to malign any of the 
French generals ; and with respect to the duke of Abrantes, I could 
shew that all the offensive passages in my work rest upon the published 
authority of his own countrymen, and especially of his great master the 
emperor Napoleon, and that they are of a milder expression than those 
authorities would have warranted. It is, however, so natural and so 
amiable in a lady to defend the reputation of her deceased husband, that 
rather than appear to detract in any manner from the grace of such a 
proceeding, I choose to be silent under the unmitigated severity of your 
grace's observations. 

Not so, however, with respect to that part of your remarks which 
relate to marshal Ney. After carefully re-examining every sentence I 
have written, I am quite unable to discover the slightest grounds for 
your grace's accusations. In all parts of my work the name of Ney 
is mentioned with praise. I have not, indeed, made myself a partizan 
of marshal Ney in relating his disputes with marshals Soult and Massena, 


because I honestly believed that he was mistaken ; neither have I. 
attributed to him unbounded talents for the higher parts of war, but 
this is only matter of opinion which the world is quite capable of 
appreciating at its true value ; and upon all other points I have expressed 
admiration of marshal Ney's extraordinary qualities, his matchless valour, 
his heroic energy ! 

In the hope that your grace will now think it reasonable to soften the 
asperity of your feelings towards my work, I take my leave, with more 
of admiration for your generous warmth in defence of a person so dear 
to you, than of any sentiment of resentment for the harsh terms which 
you have employed towards myself. And I remain, madam, 
Your very obedient servant, 

Wjlliam Napier, Colonel. 





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While marshal Beresford followed Soult towards chap. 
Llerena lord Wellington recommenced the siege of • 
Badajos, but the relation of that operation must 
be delayed until the transactions which occurred in 
Spain, during Massena's invasion of Portugal, have 
been noticed, for it is not by following one stream 
of action that a just idea of this war can be ob- 
tained. Many of lord Wellington's proceedings 
might be called rash, and others timid, and slow, 
if taken separately ; yet, when viewed as parts of 
a great plan for delivering the whole Peninsula, 
they will be found discreet or daring, as the cir- 
cumstances warranted : nor is there any portion 
of his campaigns, that requires this wide-based 
consideration, more than his early sieges ; which, 
being instituted contrary to the rules of art, and 
unsuccessful, or, when successful, attended with 
a mournful slaughter, have given occasion for 
questioning his great military qualities, which were 
however, then most signally displayed. 






In the northern provinces the events were of 

little interest. Gallicia after the failure of Re- novales' expedition and the shipwreck that followed, 

became torpid ; the junta disregarded general 

Walker's exhortations, and, although he furnished 

vast supplies, the army, nominally twenty thousand 

strong, mustered only six thousand in the field : 

official there was no cavalry, and the infantry kept close 

general ° in the mountains about Villa Franca, while a weak 

despatches French division occupied the rich plains of Leon. 

General Mahi having refused to combine his 

operations with those of the Anglo-Portuguese 

army, was thought to be disaffected, and at the 

desire of the British authorities had been removed 

official to make way for the duke of Albuquerque : he was 

Mr. Wei- however immediately appointed to the command of 

despatches Murcia, by Blake, in defiance of the remonstrances 

of Mr. Wellesley, for Blake disregarded the English 


When Albuquerque died, Gallicia fell to Cas- 
taiios, and while that officer was co-operating with 
Beresford in Estremadura, Santo-cildes assumed 
seeyoi.ui the command. Meanwhile Caffarelli's reserve having 
4oj, an d joined the army of the north, Santona was fortified, 
and Bessieres, as I have before observed, assem- 
bled seven thousand men at Zamora to invade 

In the Asturias, Bonet, although harassed, on 
the side of Potes, by the Guerillas from the moun- 
tains of Liebafia ; and on the coast by the English 
frigates, remained at Oviedo, and maintained his 
communications by the left with the troops in Leon. 


In November 1810 he defeated a considerable body chap. 

of insurgents, and in February 1811 the Spanish 

general St. Pol retired before him with the regular 
forces, from the Xalon to the Navia; but this p 1 ^; 1 ' 3 
retreat caused such discontent in Gallicia that MSS ' 
St. Pol advanced again on the 19th March, and 
was again driven back. Bonet then dispersed the 
Partidas, and was ready to aid Bessieres' invasion 
of Gallicia ; and although the arrival of the allied 
forces on the Coa in pursuit of Massena stopped 
that enterprise, he made an incursion along the 
coast, seized the Spanish stores of English arms 
and clothing, and then returned to Oviedo. The 
war was, indeed, so little formidable to the French, 
that in May Santander was evacuated, and all the 
cavalry in Castile and Leon joined Massena for the 
battle of Fuentes Onoro, and yet the Gallician 
and Asturian regular armies gained no advantage 
during their absence. 

The Partidas, who had re-assembled after their 
defeat by Bonet, were more active. Porlier, Cam- 
pillo, Longa, Amor, and Merino cut off small 
French armies in the Montana, in the Rioja, in 
Biscay, and in the Baston de Laredo ; they were 
not, indeed, dangerous in action, nor was it very 
difficult to destroy them by combined movements, 
but these combinations were hard to effect, from 
the little accord amongst the French generals, and 
thus they easily maintained their posts at Espinosa 
de Monteres, Medina, and Villarcayo. Campillo intevcep- 
was the most powerful after Porlier. His principal f ge^rai 
haunts were in the valleys of Mena and Caranza ; lemyTo 
but he was in communication with Barbara, Ho- d™.^, 
nejas, and Curillas, petty chiefs of Biscay, with 
whom he concerted attacks upon couriers and weak 

b 2 



isook detachments : and he sometimes divided his band 


into small parties, with which he overran the valleys 
of Gurieso, Soba, Carrado, and Jorrando, partly 
to raise contributions, partly to gather recruits, 
whom he forced to join him. His chief aim was, 
however, to intercept the despatches going from 
Bilbao to Santander, and for this purpose he used 
to infest Liendo between Ovira and Laredo, which 
he was enabled the more safely to do, because 
general Barthelemy, the governor of the Montana, 
was forced to watch more earnestly towards the 
hilly district of Liebana, between Leon and the Astu- 
rias. This district was Porlier's strong-hold, and 
that chief, under whom Campillo himself would at 
times act, used to cross the Deba and penetrate 
into the valleys of Cabuerniego, Rio Nauza, Cieza, 
and Buelna, and he obliged the people to fly to 
the mountains with their effects whenever the French 
approached : nevertheless the mass were tired of 
this guerilla system and tractable enough, except 
in Liebana. 

To beat Campillo once or twice would have been 
sufficient to ruin him, but to ruin Porlier required 
great combinations. It was necessary to seize 
Espinosa, not that of Monteres, but a village in 
the mountains of Liebana, from whence the valleys 
all projected as from a point, and whence the 
troops could consequently act towards Potes with 
i8ii. success. General Barthelemy proposed this plan 
to Drouet, then with the 9th corps on the Upper 
Douro, whom he desired to co-operate from the 
side of Leon, while Bonet did the same from the 
side of the Asturias : but though partially adopted, 
the execution was not effectually followed up, the 
districts of Liebana and Santander continued to 


be disturbed, and the chain of Partidas was pro- chap. 
longed through Biscay and the Rioja, to Navarre. 

1 R 1 1 

In this last province Mina had on the 22d of M * 
May defeated at the Puerto de Arlaban, near Vit- 
toria, twelve hundred men who were escorting a 
convoy of prisoners and treasure to France ; his 
success was complete, but alloyed by the death 
of two hundred of the prisoners, unfortunately 
killed during the tumult ; and it was stained by 
the murder of six Spanish ladies, who, for being pj 8t ™ rfe * 
attached to French officers, were in cold blood MSS * 
executed after the fight. Massena, whose baggage 
was captured, was to have travelled with this 
escort, but disliking the manner of the march, he 
remained in Vittoria until a better opportunity, and 
so escaped. 

These partizan operations, combined with the 
descents on the coast, the aspect of the war in 
Estremadura, and the unprotected state of Castile, 
which was now menaced by Santo-cildes, were 
rendered more important by another event to be 
noticed hereafter : Bessieres therefore resolved to 
contract his position in the north ; and first causing 
Reille and CafTarelli to scour Biscay and the Rioja, 
he ordered Bonet to abandon the Asturias. On 
the 14th of June that general, having dismantled 
the coast-batteries, sent his sick and baggage by 
sea to St. Ander and marched into Leon, where 
Santo-cildes, who had now increased the Gallician 
field army to thirteen thousand men, was menacing 
Astorga, which place the French evacuated after 
blowing up some of the works. Serras and Bonet 
then united on the Esla, and being supported by 
three thousand men from Rio Seco, skirmished at 
the Ponte de Orvigo on the 23d, but had the 


book worst, and general Valletaux was killed on their 


side : and as lord Wellington's operations in Estre- 
June! ma dura soon drew the French armies towards that 
quarter Santo-cildes held his ground at Astorga 
until August. Meanwhile two thousand French 
were thrown into Santona, and general Rognet 
coming, from the side of Burgos, with a division of 
the young guard, made a fruitless incursion against 
the Partidas of Liebana. 

This system of warfare was necessarily harassing 
to the French divisions actually engaged, but it 
was evident that neither the Asturias nor Gallicia 
could be reckoned as good auxiliaries to lord Wel- 
lington. Gallicia with its lordly junta, regular 
army, fortified towns, rugged fastnesses, numerous 
population, and constant supplies from England, 
was of less weight in the contest than five thousand 
Portuguese militia conducted by Trant and Wilson. 
The irregular warfare was now also beginning to 
produce its usual effects ; the tree though grafted 
in patriotism bore strange fruit. In Biscay, which 
had been longest accustomed to the presence of the 
invaders, the armed peasantry were often found 
fighting in the ranks of the enemy, and on one 
Appendix, occasion did of themselves attack the boats of the 
sectTon'i. Amelia frigate to save French military stores ! 
Turning now to the other line of invasion, we shall 
find the contest fiercer, indeed, and more honour- 
able to the Spaniards, but the result still more un- 
favourable to their cause. 


It will be remembered that Suchet, after the fall 


of Mequinenza, was ordered to besiege Tortoza chap. 
while Macdonald marched against Taragona. Mas- - 

sena was then concentrating his army for the inva- Jum / 
sion of Portugal, and it was the emperor's in- 
tention that Suchet should, after taking Tortoza, 
march with half of the third corps to support the 
prince of Esling. But the reduction of Tortoza 
proved a more tedious task than Napoleon antici- 
pated, and as the course of events had now given 
the French armies of Catalonia and Aragon a 
common object, it will be well to compare their 
situation and resources with those of their ad- 

Suchet was completely master of Aragon, and 
not more by the force of his arms, than by the 
influence of his administration ; the province was 
fertile, and so tranquil in the interior, that his 
magazines were all filled, and his convoys travelled 
under the care of Spanish commissaries and con- 
ductors. Mina was however in Navarre on his 
rear, and he communicated on the right bank of 
the Ebro with the Partidas in the mountains of 
Moncayo and Albaracin ; and these last were occa- 
sionally backed by the Empecinado, Duran, and 
others whose strong-holds were in the Guadalaxara, 
and who from thence infested Cuen^a and the 
vicinity of Madrid. From Albaracin, Villa Campa 
continued the chain of partizan warfare and con- 
nected it with the Valencian army, which had also 
a line of operation towards Cuen^a. Mina, who 
communicated with the English vessels in the bay 
of Biscay, received his supplies from Coruiia ; and 
the others, in like manner, corresponded with Valen- 
cia, from whence the English consul Tupper sue- 


book coured them with arms, money, and ammunition, 

'— Thus a line was drawn quite across the Peninsula 

Tune which it was in vain for the enemy to break, as the 
retreat was secure at both ends, and the excitement 
to renewed efforts constant. 

On the other flank of Suchefs position the high 
valleys of the Pyrenees were swarming with small 
bands, forming a link between Mina and a division 
of the Catalonian army stationed about the Seu 
d'Urgel, which was a fortified castle, closing the 
passage leading from the plain of that name to the 
Cerdana : this division in conjunction with Ro- 
vira, and other partizans, extended the irregular 
warfare on the side of Olot and Castelfollit to the 
Ampurdan ; and the whole depended upon Tara- 
gona, which itself was supported by the English 
fleet in the Mediterranean. Aragon may therefore 
be considered as an invested fortress, which the 
Spaniards thought to reduce by famine, by assault, 
and by exciting the population against the gar- 
rison ; but Suchet baffled them ; he had made such 
judicious arrangements that his convoys were se- 
cure in the interior, and all the important points on 
the frontier circle were fortified, and connected, 
with Zaragoza, by chains of minor ports radiating 
from that common centre. Lerida, Mequinenza, 
and the plain of Urgel in Catalonia, the fort of 
Morella in Valencia, were his ; and by fortifying 
Teruel and Alcanitz he had secured the chief pas- 
sages leading through the mountains to the latter 
kingdom : he could thus, at will, invade either 
Catalonia or Valencia, and from Mequinenza he 
could, by water, transport the stores necessary to 
besiege Tortoza. Nor were these advantages the 



result of aught but his uncommon talents for war, chap. 
a consideration which rendered them doubly for- 

The situation of the French in Catalonia was 
different. Macdonald, who had assumed the com- 
mand at the moment when Napoleon wished him to 
co-operate with Suchet, was inexperienced in the 
peculiar warfare of the province, and unprepared to 
execute any extended plan of operations. His 
troops were about Gerona and Hostalrich, which 
were in fact the bounds of the French conquest at 
this period ; for Barcelona was a military point 
beyond their field system, and only to be main- 
tained by expeditions ; and the country was so ex- 
hausted of provisions in the interior, that the army 
itself could only be fed by land-convoys from 
France, or by such coasters as, eluding the vigi- 
lance of the English cruizers, could reach Rosas, 
St. Filieu, and Palamos. Barcelona like the horse- 
leech continually cried for more, and as the inha- 
bitants as well as the garrison depended on the 
convoys, the latter were enormous, reference being 
had to the limited means of the French general, 
and the difficulty of moving ; for, although the 
distance between Hostalrich and Barcelona was only 
forty miles, the road, as far as Granollers, was a 
succession of defiles, and crossed by several rivers, 
of which the Congosta and the Tordera were con- 
siderable obstacles ; and the nature of the soil was 
clayey and heavy, especially in the defiles of the 
Trenta Pasos. 

These things rendered it difficult for Macdonald 
to operate in regular warfare from his base of Ge- 
rona, and as the stores for the siege of Taragona 
were to come from France, until they arrived he 


book could only make sudden incursions with light bag- 


gage, trusting to the resources still to be found in 
j®]°- the open country, or to be gathered in the moun- 
tains by detachments which would have to fight for 
every morsel. This then was the condition of the 
French armies, that starting from separate bases, 
they had to operate on lines meeting at Tortoza. 
It remains to shew the situation of the Catalan 

After the battle of Margalef, Henry O'Donnel 
reunited his scattered forces, and being of a stern 
unyielding disposition, not only repressed the dis- 
content occasioned by that defeat, but forced the 
reluctant Miguelettes to swell his ranks and to 
submit to discipline. Being assisted with money 
and arms by the British agents, and having free 
communication by sea with Gibraltar, Cadiz, and 
Minorca, he was soon enabled to reorganize his 
army, to collect vast magazines at Taragona, and 
to strengthen that place by new works. In July 
his force again amounted to twenty-two thousand 
men exclusive of the Partidas, and of the Soma- 
tenes, who were useful to aid in a pursuit, to break 
up roads, and to cut off straggling soldiers. Of 
this number one division under Campo Verde, was, 
as I have before said, in the higher valleys, having 
a detachment at Olot, and being supported by the 
fortified castles of Seu D'Urgel, Cardona, Solsona, 
and Berga. A second division was on the Llobre- 
gat, watching the garrison of Barcelona, and having 
detachments in Montserrat, Igualada, and Man- 
resa to communicate with Campo Verde. The 
third division, the reserve and the cavalry were on 
the hills about Taragona, and that place and Tor- 
toza had large garrisons. 


By this disposition, O'Donnel occupied Falcet, chap. 
the Col de Balaguer, and the Col del Alba, which ' 

were the passages leading to Tortoza ; the Col de j 8 ^ - 
Ribas and Momblanch, which commanded the roads General 


to Lerida : San Coloma de Queralt and Iofualada, correspond 

. dence, 

through which his connection with Campo- Verde MSS - , 

° r Colonel 

was maintained ; and thus the two French armies Grecn'sdo. 

' MSS. 

were separated not only by the great spinal ridges 
descending from the Pyrenees, but by the position 
of the Spaniards, who held all the passes, and 
could at will concentrate and attack either Suchet 
or Macdonald. But the Catalonian system was now 
also connected with Valencia, where, exclusive of 
irregulars, there were about fifteen thousand men 
under General Bassecour. That officer had in June 
occupied Cuenca, yet having many quarrels with 
his officers he could do nothing;, and was driven 9! Rcial 

© 7 Abstracts 

from thence by troops from Madrid : he returned to $ cl JJj* 
Valencia, but the disputes continued and extended l °y\ Des " 

' *■ patches, 

to the junta or congress of Valencia, three members Jj ss * 
of which were by the general imprisoned. Never- art r ' s ^ s 
theless, as all parties were now sensible that Valen- 
cia should be defended at Tortoza, Bassecour pre- 
pared to march to its succour by the coast road 
where he had several fortified posts. Thus, while 
Suchet and Macdonald were combining to crush 
O'Donnel, the latter was combining with Bassecour, 
to press upon Suchet ; and there was always the 
English maritime force at hand to aid the attacks or 
to facilitate the escape of the Spaniards. 

In the above exposition I have called the native 
armies by the names of their provinces, but in 
December 1810 the whole military force being 
reorganized by the regency the armies were de- 
signated by numbers. Thus the Catalonian forces, 


j?ook formerly called the army of the right, was now 


called the jirst army. The Valencians, together 
July. w * tn Villa Campa's division, and the partidas of 
the Empecinado and Duran, were called the second 
army. The Murcian force was called the third 
army. The troops at Cadiz, at Algesiras, and in 
the Conde Niebla were called the fourth army. 
The remnants of Romana's old Gallician division 
which had escaped the slaughter on the Gebora 
formed the fifth army. The new-raised troops of 
Gallicia and those of the Asturias were called the 
sixth army. And the partidas of the north, that 
is to say, Mina's, Longa's, Campillo's, Porlier's, and 
other smaller bands formed the seventh army. 

Such was the state of affairs when Napoleon's 
order to besiege Tortoza arrived. Suchet was ready 
to execute it. More than fifty battering guns 
selected from those at Lerida were already equipped, 
and his depots were established at Mequinenza, 
Caspe, and Alcanitz. All the fortified posts were 
provisioned ; twelve thousand men under general 
Musnier, intended for the security of Aragon, 
were disposed at Huesca and other minor points 
on the left bank of the Ebro, and at Daroca, Teruel, 
and Calatayud on the right bank ; and while these 
arrangements were being executed, the troops des- 
tined for the siege had assembled at Lerida and 
Alcanitz, under generals Habert and Laval, their 
provisions being drawn from the newly conquered 
district of Urgel. 

From Mequinenza, which was the principal depot, 
there was water-carriage, but as the Ebro was 
crossed at several points by rocky bars, some of 
which were only passable in full water, the com- 
munication was too uncertain to depend upon, and 


Suchet therefore set workmen to reopen an old chap. 

road thirty miles in length, which had been made 

by the duke of Orleans during the war of the sue- j ul ' 
cession. This road pierced the mountains on the 
right bank of the Ebro, passed through Batea and 
other places to Mora, and from thence by Pinel to 
Tortoza, running through a celebrated defile called 
indifferently the Trincheras and the Passage of 
Arms. When these preliminary arrangements were 
made general Habert assembled his division at 
Belpuig near Lerida, and after making a feint as 
if to go towards Barcelona, suddenly turned to his 
right, and penetrating through the district of Gar- 
riga, reached Garcia on the left bank of the Lower 
Ebro the 5th of July. Laval at the same time 
quitted Alcanitz, made a feint towards Valencia by see, 
Morella, and then turning to his left, came so un- 
expectedly upon Tortoza by the right bank of the 
Ebro, that he surprized some of the outposts on 
the 2d, and then encamped before the bridge- 
head. The 4th he extended his line to Amposta, 
seized the ferry-boat of the great road from Bar- 
celona to Valencia, and posted Boussard's cuiras- 
siers, with a battalion of infantry and six guns, at 
Uldecona, on the Cenia river, to observe Bassecour's 

During these operations Suchet fixed his own 
quarters at Mora, and as the new road was not 
finished, he occupied Miravet, Pinel, and the Trin- 
cheras, on its intended line ; and having placed 
flying bridges, with covering works, on the Ebro, 
at Mora and Xerta, made those places his depot 
of siege. He likewise seized the craft on the river, 
established posts at Rapita, near the mouth of the 
Ebro, and at Amposta, and made a fruitless attempt 


book to burn the boat bridge of Tortoza, with fire vessels. 


Following Napoleon's order, Macdonald should at 
\ 8 ] ' this time have been before Taragona : but on the 

July. to ' 

9th, Suchet learned, from a spy, that the seventh 
corps was still at Gerona, and he thus found him- 
self exposed alone to the combined efforts of the 
Catalans and Valencians. This made him repent 
of having moved from Aragon so soon, yet think- 
ing it would be bad to retire, he resolved to block- 
ade Tortoza ; hoping to resist both O'Donnel and 
Bassecour until Macdonald could advance. 

The Spaniards who knew his situation, sallied on 
the right bank the 6th and 8th, and on the 10th his 
outposts on the left bank were driven in at Tivisa 
by a division from Falcet, which, the next day, fell 
on his works at Mora, but was repulsed ; and the 
12th, general Paris pushed back the Spanish line, 
while Habert took post in force at Tivisa, by which 
he covered the roads to Xerta and Mora. O'Dono- 
ghue, who commanded Bassecour's advanced guard, 
now menaced Morella, but general Montmarie being 
detached to its succour, drove him away. 

The 30th, O'Donnel having brought up fresh 
troops to Falcet, made a feint with ten thousand 
men against Tivisa, and then suddenly entered 
Tortoza, from whence at mid-day, on the 3d of 
August, he passed the bridge and fell with the 
bayonet on Laval's entrenchments. The French 
gave way at first, but soon rallied, and the Spa- 
niards fearing for their communications regained 
the town in disorder, having lost two hundred pri- 
soners besides killed and wounded. 

This operation had been concerted with general 
Caro, who having superseded O'Donoghue, was 
now marching with the Valencians by the coast- 


road towards Uldecona : Suchet therefore, judging chap. 
that the intention of the Spaniards was to force „ 

him away from the Lower Ebro, before Macdonald ^ L810 s " t 
could pass the Llobregat, resolved first to strike a 
sudden blow at the Valencians, and then turn upon 
the Catalans. In this view he contracted his quar- 
ters on the Ebro, and united at Uldecona, on the 
]3th, eleven battalions with eight hundred horse- 
men. Caro was then in a strong position covering 
the two great routes to Valencia, but when the 
French, after driving in his advanced guard from 
Vinaros, came up, his Valencians would not stand 
a battle, and being followed beyond Peniscola se- 
parated and retreated in disorder by different roads. 
Whereupon Suchet returned to Mora, and there 
found an officer of Macdonald's army, who brought 
information that the seventh corps was at last in 
the plains of Reus, and its communications with 
the third corps open. 


When Macdonald succeeded Augereau he found i8io. 
the troops in a state of insubordination, accustomed 
to plunder, and excited to ferocity by the cruelty Vacam - 
of the Catalans, and by the conduct of his prede- J t ic ^ n res 
cessor : they were without magazines or regular £ u6tes ? e9 

* ° & Francis. 

subsistence, and lived by exactions : hence the 
people, driven to desperation, were more like wild 
beasts than men, and the war was repulsive to him 
in all its features. It was one of shifts and devices, 
and he better understood methodical movements; it 
was one of plunder, and he was a severe discipli- 
narian ; it was full of cruelty on all sides, and he 
was of a humane and just disposition. Being re- 



book solved to introduce regular habits, Macdonald se- 


1_ verely rebuked the troops for their bad discipline 

and cruelty, and endeavoured to soothe the Cata- 
lans, but neither could be brought to soften in their 
enmity; the mutual injuries sustained, were too 
horrible and too recent to be forgiven. The sol- 
diers, drawn from different countries, and therefore 
not bound by any common national feeling, were 
irritated against a general, who made them pay for 
wanton damages, and punished them for plunder- 
ing ; and the Catalans attributing his conduct to 

Vacani. fear, because he could not entirely restrain the 
violence of his men, still fled from the villages, and 
still massacred his stragglers with unrelenting bar- 

While establishing his system it was impossible 
for Macdonald to take the field, because, without 
magazines, no army can be kept in due discipline ; 
wherefore he remained about Gerona, drawing with 
great labour and pains his provisions from France, 
and storing up the overplus for his future opera- 
tions. On the 10th of June however the wants of 
Barcelona became so serious, that leaving his bag- 
gage under a strong guard at Gerona, and his re- 
cruits and cavalry at Figueras, he marched with 
ten thousand men and a convoy, to its relief, by 
the way of the Trenta Pasos, Cardedieu, and Gra- 
nollers. The road was heavy, the defiles narrow, 
the rivers swelled, and the, manner of march rather 
too pompous for the nature of the war, for Macdo- 
nald took post in order of battle on each side of the 
defiles, while the engineers repaired the ways : 
in every thing adhered to his resolution of re- 
storing a sound system ; but while imitating the Ju- 
gurthine Metellus, he forgot that he had not Romans, 


but a mixed and ferocious multitude under his com- chap. 

mand, and he lost more by wasting of time, than 

he gained by enforcing an irksome discipline. Thus j uly ' 
when he had reached Barcelona, his own provisions 
were expended, his convoy furnished only a slender 
supply for the city, and the next day he was forced 
to return with the empty carts in all haste to Ge- 
rona, where he resumed his former plan of action, 
and demolished the forts beyond that city. 

In July he collected another convoy and prepared 
to march in the same order as before, for his intent 
was to form magazines in Barcelona sufficient for 
that city and his own supply, during the siege of 
Taragona ; but meanwhile Suchet was unable to 
commence the siege of Tortoza, in default of the co- 
operation of the seventh corps ; and Henry ODon- 
nel having gained time to re-organize his army and 
to re-establish his authority was now ready to in- 
terrupt the French marshal's march, proposing, if 
he failed, to raise a fresh insurrection in the Am- 
purdan, and thus give further occupation on that 
side. He had transferred a part of his forces to 
Caldas, Santa Coloma, and Brunolas, taking nearly 
the same positions that Blake had occupied during 
the siege of Gerona ; but the French detachments 
soon obliged him to concentrate again behind the 
defiles of the Congosta, where he hoped to stop the 
passage of the convoy; Macdonald, however, en- 
tered Hostalrich on the 16th, forced the Trenta 
Pasos on the 17th, and although his troops had 
only fifty rounds of ammunition he drove three 
thousand men from the pass of Garriga on the ] 8th, 
reached Barcelona that night, delivered his convoy, 
and returned immediately. 

The French soldiers now became sickly from the 
vol. iv. c 



book hardships of a march rendered oppressive by the 


severity of their discipline, and many also deserted; 
Aifust y et otners > wno na d before gone off, returned to 
their colours, reinforcements arrived from France, 
and the emperor's orders to take the field were becom- 
ing so pressing, that Macdonald, giving Baraguay 
d'Hilliers the command of the Ampurdan, marched 
on the 8th of August with a third convoy for Bar- 
celona, resolved at last to co-operate with Suchet. 
Instructed by experience he however moved this 
time with less formality, and having reached Bar- 
celona the 11th, deposited his convoy, appointed 
Maurice Mathieu governor of that city, and on the 
15th forced the pass of Ordal, and reached Villa 
Franca with about sixteen thousand men under 
arms. O'Donnel, still smarting from the affair at 
Tortoza, retired before him to Taragona without 
fighting, but directed Campo Verde to leave a body 
of troops under general Martinez in the mountains 
about Olot, and to move himself through Mont- 
serrat to the district of Garriga, which lies between 
Lerida and Tortoza ; meanwhile the seventh corps 
passed by Braffin and Vails into the plain of Reus, 
and as we have seen opened the communication 
with Suchet, but to how little purpose shall be 
shewn in the next chapter. 




As the Spanish general knew that the French chap. 

could at Reus find provisions for only a few days, 
he withdrew his division from Falcet, and while ^u^st. 
Campo Verde, coming into the Garriga, occupied 
the passes behind them, and other troops were 
placed in the defiles between Vails and Villafranca, 
he held the main body of his army concentrated at 
Taragona, ready to fall upon Macdonald whenever 
he should move. This done, he became extremely 
elated, for like all Spaniards he imagined that to 
surround an enemy was the perfection of military 
operations. Macdonald cared little for the vicinity 
of the Catalan troops, but he had not yet formed 
sufficient magazines at Barcelona to commence the 
siege of Taragona, nor could he, as CTDonnel had 
foreseen, procure more than a few days supply about 
Reus, he therefore relinquished all idea of a siege 
and proposed to aid Suchet in the operation against 
Tortoza, if the latter would feed the seventh corps ; 
and pending Suchet's decision he resolved to remove 
to Lerida. 

The 25th of August leaving seven hundred sick 
men in Reus, he made a feint against the Col 
de Balaguer, but soon changing his direction 
marched upon Momblanch and the Col de Ribas : 
his rear-guard, composed of Italian troops, being 
overtaken near Alcover, offered battle at the bridge 
of Goy, but this the Spaniards declined, and 
they also neglected to secure the heights on each 

c 2 



book side, which the Italians immediately turned to ac- 
count and so made their way to Pixamoxons. They 
were pursued immediately, and Sarsfield coming 
from the Lerida side disputed the passage of Pixa- 
moxons ; but Macdonald, keeping the troops from 
Taragona in check with a rear-guard, again sent 
his Italians up the hills on the flanks while he 
pushed his French troops against the front of the 
enemy, and so succeeded ; for the Italians quickly 
carried the heights, the rear-guard was very slightly 
pressed, the front was unopposed, and in two hours, 
the army reached Momblanch, whence after a short 
halt, it descended into the plains of UrgeL 

Suchet being informed of this march came from 
Mora to confer with Macdonald, and they agreed 
that the seventh corps should have for its subsis- 
tence the magazines of Monzon and the plains of 
Urgel, which had not yet delivered its contributions. 
In return Macdonald lent the Neapolitan division to 
guard Suchet's convoys down the Ebro, and pro- 
mised that the divisions of Severoli and Souham 
should cover the operations of the third corps, during 
the siege of Tortoza, by drawing the attention of 
the Catalan generals to the side of Cardona. 

The seventh corps was now quartered about 
Tarega, Cervera, Guisona, and Agramunt, and 
Severola was detached with four thousand men 
over the Segre to enforce the requisitions about 
Talarn. He drove four hundred Swiss from the 
bridge of Tremp, and executed his mission, but 

Vacani. with such violence that the people, becoming furi- 
ous, assassinated the stragglers, and laid so many 
successful schemes of murder, that Macdonald was 
forced reluctantly to renew the executions and 
burnings of his predecessors. Indeed, to feed an 


army forcibly when all things are paid for, will, in chap. 

a poor and mountainous country, create soreness, ! 

because the things taken cannot easily be replaced; g^ - 
but with requisitions severity is absolutely neces- 
sary. In rich plains the inhabitants can afford to 
supply the troops and will do so, to avoid being 
plundered ; but mountaineers having scarcely any 
thing besides food, and little of that, are imme- 
diately rendered desperate and must be treated as 
enemies or left in quiet. 

While Severoli was ravaging Tremp and Talarn, 
general Eugenio marched with another Italian de- 
tachment towards Castelfollit, which had a French 
garrison, and Macdonald removed his own quarters 
to Cervera. Meanwhile O'Donnel, having replaced 
his division at Falcet to observe Suchet, distributed 
his other forces on the line of communication 
through San Coloma de Querault, lgualada, Mont- 
serrat, and Cardona ; he thus cut off all connection 
between Macdonald and the Ampurdan, and ena- 
bled Campo Verde closely to follow the operations 
of the seventh corps, and that general seeing the 
French army separated, fell first upon the head-quar- 
ters at Cervera, but being unsuccessful, marched 
against Eugenio, and was by him also repulsed 
near Castelfollit. Eugenio, distinguished alike 
by his valour and ferocity, then returned with his 
booty to Agramunt, and afterwards invading Pons, 
spoiled and ravaged all that district without hin- 
drance. The provisions obtained, were heaped up 
in Lerida and Balaguer; but while Macdonald was 
thus acting in the plain of Urgel, O'Donnel formed 
and executed the most skilful plan which had yet 
graced the Spanish arms. 

We have seen that Baraguay d'Hilliers was left 


book with eighteen or twenty thousand men in the Am- 


purdan, but these troops were necessarily scat- 
Sent' tere d : seven hundred were at Palamos, San Filieu, 
and other small ports along the coast ; twelve hun- 
dred, under general Swartz, were quartered in 
Abispal, one short march from Gerona, and two 
hundred were at Calonje, connecting Abispal with 
Palamos ; the rest were in Figueras, Rosas, Olot, 
Castelfollit, Gerona, and Hostalrich, and several 
thousand were in hospital. O'Donnel having exact 
knowledge of all this, left a small garrison in Tara- 
gona, placed the baron d'Errolles at Montserrat, co- 
lonel Georget at Igualada, and Obispo at Martorel, 
while with six thousand infantry and four hundred 
cavalry he marched himself through the mountains, 
by San Culgat to Mattaro on the sea-coast : then 
crossing the Tordera below Hostalrich, he moved 
rapidly by Vidreras to Llagostera which he reached 
the 12th of September. His arrival was unknown 
to Macdonald, or Maurice Mathieu, or Baraguay 
d'Hilliers, for though many reports of his intentions 
were afloat, most of them spread by himself, no 
person divined his real object: by some he was said 
to be gone against a French corps, which, from the 
side of Navarre, had entered the Cerdaiia; by others 
that he was concentrating at Manresa, and many 
concluded that he was still in Taragona. 

Having thus happily attained his first object, 
O'Donnel proceeded in his plan with a vigour of 
execution equal to the conception. Leaving Campo 
Verde with a reserve in the valley of Aro, he sent 
detachments to fall on Calonje and the posts along 
the coast, the operations there being seconded by 
two English frigates ; and while this was in pro- 
gress, O'Donnel himself on the 14th marched 


violently down from Casa de Silva upon Abispal. chap. 

Swartz, always unfortunate, had his infantry and . 

some cavalry under arms in an entrenched camp, ^J^' r 
and accepted battle ; but after losing two hundred 
men and seeing no retreat, yielded, and all the 
French troops along the coast were likewise forced 
to surrender. The prisoners and spoil were imme- 
diately embarked on board the English vessels and 
sent to Taragona. 

Until this moment Baraguay d'Hilliers was quite 
ignorant of O'Donnel's arrival, and the whole Am- 
purdan was thrown into confusion ; for the Soma- 
tenes, rising in all parts, cut off the communica- 
tions with Macdonald, whose posts on the side of 
Calaf and Cervera were at the same time harassed 
by Errolles and Obispo : nevertheless, although a 
rumour of Swartz's disaster reached him, Mac- 
donald would not credit it, and continued in the 
plain of Urgel. Baraguay d'Hilliers was therefore 
unable to do more than protect his own convoys 
from France, and would have been in a dangerous 
position if O'Donnel's activity had continued ; but 
that general having been severely wounded, the 
Spanish efforts relaxed, and Napoleon, whose eyes 
were every where, sent general Conroux, in the 
latter end of October, with a convoy and rein- 
forcement of troops from Perpignan to Gerona. 
O'Donnel, troubled by his wound, then embarked ; 
and Campo Verde, who succeeded to the com- 
mand, immediately sent a part of the army to 
Taragona, left Rovira, and Claros, and Manso, to 
nourish the insurrection in the Ampurdan, and 
took post himself at Manresa, from thence he at 
first menaced Macdonald's posts at Calaf; but 
his real object was to break up that road, 




book which he effected, and then passed suddenly 
through Berga and Cardona to Puigcerda, and 
drove the French detachment, which had come from 
Navarre to ravage the fertile district of Cerdana, 
under the guns of Fort Louis. 

This excursion attracted Macdonald's attention, 
he was now fully apprized of Swartz's misfortune, 
and he hoped to repair it by crushing Campo Verde, 
taking Cardona, and dispersing the local junta of 
Upper Catalonia, which had assembled in Solsona ; 
wherefore, on the 18th, he put his troops in motion, 
and the 19th, passing the mountains of Portellas, 
entered Solsona ; but the junta and the inhabitants 
escaped to Cardona and Berja, and up the valleys 
of Oleana and Urgel. Macdonald immediately 
sent columns in all directions to collect provisions 
and to chase the Spanish detachments, and this 
obliged Campo Verde to abandon the Cerdana, 
which was immediately foraged by the troops from 
Fort Louis. It only remained to sieze Cardona, 
and on the 21st the French marched against that 
place ; but Campo Verde, by a rapid movement, 
arrived before them, and was in order of battle 
with a considerable force when Macdonald came up. 


This town stands at the foot of a rugged hill, 
which is joined by a hog's -back ridge to the great 
mountain spine, dividing Eastern from Western Ca- 
talonia. The Cardona river washed the walls, a 
castle of strength crowned the height above, and 
though the works of the place were weak, the 
Spanish army, covering all the side of the hill 


between the town and the castle, presented such chap. 

an imposing' spectacle, that the French general " — 

resolved to avoid a serious action. But the French q 1 ^^. 
and Italians marched in separate columns, and the 
latter under Eugenio, who arrived first, attacked 
contrary to orders ; yet he soon found his hands too 
full, and thus, against his will, Macdonald was 
obliged also to engage to bring Eugenio ofT. Yet 
neither was he able to resist Campo Verde, who 
drove all down the mountain, and followed them 
briskly as they retreated to Solsona. 

Macdonald lost many men in this fight, and on 
the 26th returned to Guisona. It was now more 
than two months since he had left the Ampurdan, 
and during that time he had struck no useful blow 
against the Spaniards, nor had he, in any serious 
manner, aided Suchet's operations ; for the Catalans 
continually harassed that general's convoys, from 
the left of the Ebro, while the seventh corps, besides 
suffering severely from assassinations, had been 
repulsed at Cardona, had excited the people of the 
plain of Urgel to a state of rabid insurrection, and 
had lost its own communications with the Ampur- 
dan. In that district the brigade of Swartz had 
been destroyed, the ports of Filieu and Palamos 
taken, and the Catalans were every where become 
more powerful and elated than before : Barcelona also 
was again in distress, and a convoy from Perpignan 
destined for its relief dared not pass Hostalrich. 
Macdonald therefore resolved to return to Gerona 
by the road of Manreza, Moya, and Granollers, 
and having communicated his intention to Suchet, 
and placed his baggage in Lerida, commenced his 
march the 4th of November. 

Campo Verde getting intelligence of this design, 



book took post to fight near Calaf, yet when the French 
approached, his heart failed, and he permitted 

Nov ' them to pass. The French general therefore reached 
Manreza the 7th, and immediately despatched par- 
ties towards Vich and other places to mislead the 
Spaniards, while with his main body he marched 
by Moya and the Gariga pass to Granollers, where 
he expected to meet Baraguay d'Hilliers with the 
convoy from Barcelona ; but being disappointed in 
this, he returned by the Trenta Pasos to Gerona 
the 10th, and sent his convalescents to Figueras. 

The vicinity of Gerona was now quite exhausted, 
and fresh convoys from France were required to 
feed the troops, while the posts in the Ampurdan 
were re-established and the district re-organized. 
Macdonald's muster-rolls presented a force of fifty- 
one thousand men, of which ten thousand were in 
hospital, six thousand in Barcelona, and several 
thousand distributed along the coast and on the 
lines of communication, leaving somewhat more 
than thirty thousand disposable for field-operations. 
Of this number, fourteen thousand were placed 
under Baraguay d'Hilliers to maintain the Am- 
purdan, and when the convoys arrived from France 
the French marshal marched, with the remaining 
sixteen thousand, for the fourth time, to the succour 
of Barcelona. His divisions were commanded by 
Souham and Pino, for Severoli had been recalled 
to Italy to organize fresh reinforcements ; but 
following his former plan, this march also was 
made in one solid body, and as the defiles had 
been cut up by the Spaniards, and the bridge over 
the Tordera broken, Macdonald set his troops to 
labour, and in six hoars opened fresh ways over 
the hills on the right and left of the Trenta Pasos, 



and so, without opposition, reached the more open chap. 
country about Granollers and Moncada. The 

Spaniards then retired by their own left to Tarasa D ec> ' 
and Caldas, but Macdonald continued to move 
on in a solid body upon Barcelona ; for as he was 
resolved not to expose himself to a dangerous 
attack, so he avoided all enterprise. Thus, on 
the 23d, he would not permit Pino to improve a 
favourable opportunity of crushing the Catalans Vacani, 
in his front, and on the 24th, after delivering his 
convoy and sending the carts back to Belgarde, 
instead of pursuing Campo Verde to Tarasa, as 
all the generals advised, he marched towards the 
Llobregat ; and as Souham and Pino remained 
discontented at Barcelona, their divisions were 
given to Frere and Fontanes. 

Macdonald moved, on the 27th, towards Tara- 
gona, but without any design to undertake the siege ; 
for though the road by Ordal and Villa Franca was 
broad and good, he carried no artillery or wheel- 
carriages : the Spaniards, seeing this, judged he 
would again go to Lerida, and posted their main 
body about Montserrat and Igualada ; but he dis- 
regarded them, and after beating Sarsfield from 
Arbos and Vendril, turned towards the pass of 
LVtassarbones, which leads through the range of 
hills separating Villa Franca from the district of 
Vails. The Catalans had broken up both that 
and the pass of Christina leading to the Gaya, yet 
the French general again made new ways, and on 
the 30th spread his troops over the Paneda or plain 
of Taragona : thus shewing of how little use it is 
to destroy roads as a defence, unless men are also 
prepared to fight. 

Instead of occupying Reus as before, Macdonald 


book now took a position about Momblanch, having his 

■ rear towards Lerida, but leaving all the passes 

January lading from Taragona to the Ebro open for the 
Spaniards ; so that Suchet derived no benefit from 
the presence of the seventh corps, nor could the 
latter feed itself, nor yet in any manner hinder the 
Catalans from succouring Tortoza. For Campo 
Verde, coming from Montserrat and Igualada, was 
encamped above the defiles between the French 
position and Taragona, principally at Lilla, on 
the road from Vails ; and O'Donnel, who still di- 
rected the general movements, although his wound 
would not suffer him to appear in the field, sent 
parties into the Gariga behind Macdonald's right 
flank to interrupt his foraging parties, and to harass 
Suchet's communications by the Ebro. 

From the strong heights at Lilla, the Catalans 
defied the French soldiers, calling upon them to 
come up and fight, and they would have done so 
if Macdonald would have suffered them, but after 
ten days of inactivity he divided his troops into 
many columns, and in concert with Abbe's brigade 
of the third corps, which marched from Xerta, 
endeavoured to inclose and destroy the detachments 
in the Gariga ; the Spaniards however disappeared 
in the mountains and the French army only gained 
some mules and four thousand sheep and oxen. 
With this spoil they united again on the left bank 
of the Ebro, and were immediately disposed on a 
line extending from Vinebre, which is opposite to 
Flix, to Masos, which is opposite to Mora, and from 
thence to Garcia and Gniestar. Suchet was thus 
enabled to concentrate his troops about Tortoza 
and the siege of that place was immediately com- 


The operations of the third corps during the chap. 

five months it had been dependent upon the slow 

movements of the seventh corps shall now be Se t " 

Suchet, by resigning the plain of Urgel and the 
magazines at Monzon, for Macdonald's subsistence, 
in September, had deprived himself of all the 
resources of the left bank of the Ebro from Me- 
quinenza to Tortoza, and the country about the 
latter place was barren ; hence he was obliged to 
send for his provisions to Zaragoza, Teruel, and 
other places more than one hundred miles from his 
camp ; and meanwhile the difficulty of getting his 
battering train and ammunition down the river from 
Mequinenza was increased because of the nume- 
rous bars and weirs which impeded the navigation 
when the waters were low : moreover Macdonald, 
by going to Cardona, exposed the convoys to 
attacks from the left bank, by the Spanish troops 
which being stationed between Taragona, Mom- 
blanch, and Falcet, were always on the watch. 
Considering these things Suchet had, while the 
seventh corps was yet at Lerida, and the waters 
accidentally high, employed the Neapolitan brigade 
of the seventh corps to escort twenty-six pieces 
of artillery down the river. This convoy reached 
Xerta the 5th of September, and the Neapolitans 
Were then sent to Guardia ; general Habert was 
placed at Tivisa ; Mas de Mora was occupied by 
a reserve, and the Spaniards again took post at 
Falcet. At this time general Laval died, and his 
division was given to general Harispe, a person 
distinguished throughout the war by his ability, 
courage, and humanity. 

Meanwhile the Valencian army had again con- 


book centrated to disturb the blockade of Tortoza, where- 
L_ fore Suchet strengthened Boussard's detachment at 

1810. Uldecona, and gave the command to general Mus- 

Sept. ° ii 

nier, who was replaced at Zaragoza by general 
Paris. At the same time colonel Kliski was sent 
to command the detachments on the side of Mon- 
talvan, Teruel, Daroca, and Calatayud, where a 
partizan warfare was continued with undiminished 
activity by Villa Campa, who had contrived to open 
secret communications, and to excite some commo- 
tions even in Zaragoza. On the 7th of August he 
had beaten a French foraging detachment near 
Cuevas, and recaptured six thousand sheep, and at 
Andorra had taken both convoy and escort. On the 
side of Navarre also, Mina coming down into the 
Cinco Villas destroyed some detachments, and im- 
peded the foraging parties. Thus the third corps 
also began to suffer privations, and no progress was 
made towards the conquest of Catalonia. 

In September, however, Villa Campa, having 
increased his forces, advanced so near Suchet that 
general Habert attacked and drove him over the 
frontier in dispersion, and recaptured all the sheep 
before lost, and Suchet then brought down the 
remainder of the battering train, and the stores 
for the siege ; but as the waters of the Ebro were 
low, the new road was used for the convoys, which 
thus came slowly and with many interruptions and 
considerable loss ; especially on the 17th of Sep- 
tember, when a whole Neapolitan battalion suffered 
itself to be taken without firing a shot. 

In this manner affairs dragged on until the 28th 
of October ; but then Macdonald (O'Donnel having 
meantime captured Swartz and raised the Ampur- 
dan) returned to Gerona, whereby Suchet's hopes 


of commencing the siege were again baffled. And, chap. 
as it was at this moment that the assembling of the 

Cortez gave a new vigour to the resistance in Spain October. 
and the regency's plan of sending secret juntas, to 
organize and regulate the proceedings of the par- 
tidas, was put in execution, the activity of .those 
bands became proportioned to the hopes excited, 
and the supplies and promises thus conveyed to 
them. One of those secret juntas composed of 
clergy and military men having property or in- 
fluence in Aragon, endeavoured to renew the in- 
surrection formerly excited by Blake in that pro- 
vince, and for this purpose sent their emissaries 
into all quarters, and combined their operations 
with Mina. They, also, diligently followed a plan 
of secretly drawing off the provisions from Aragon, 
with a view to starve the French, and general Car- 
bajal, one of the junta, joining Villa Campa, 
assumed the supreme command on that side ; while 
captain Codrington, at the desire of Bassecour, 
carried a Valencian detachment by sea to Peniscola 
to fall on the left flank of Suchet, if he should 
attempt to penetrate by the coast road to Valencia. 
Thus, at the moment when Macdonald returned 
to the Ampurdan, the Aragonese became unquiet, 
the partidas from Navarre and the district of 
Montalvan and Calatayud, closed in on Suchet's 
communications, the Valencians came up on the 
one side, towards Uldecona, and on the other Gar- 
cia Navarro moving from Taragona with a division 
again assumed the position of Falcet. 

To check this tide of hostility the French general 
resolved first to crush the insurrection project, and 
for this purpose detached seven battalions and four 
hundred cavalry against Carbajal. Chlopiski, who 


book commanded them, defeated the Spaniards the 31st 
at Alventoza on the route to Valencia, taking some 

Nov guns and ammunition. Nevertheless Villa Campa 
rallied his men in a few days on the mountain of 
Fuente Santa, where he was joined by Carbajal, 
and having received fresh succours renewed the 
project of raising the Aragonese. But Chlopiski 
again defeated him the 12th of November, and the 
Spaniards fled in confusion towards the river Libras, 
where the bridge breaking many were drowned. 
The French lost more than a hundred men in this 
sharp attack, and Chlopiski then returned to the 
blockade, leaving Kliski with twelve hundred men 
to watch Villa Campa's further movements. 

The Ebro having now risen sufficiently, the re- 
mainder of the battering train and stores were em- 
barked at Mequinenza, and on the 3d dropt down 
the stream ; but the craft outstripped the escort, 
and the convoy being assailed from the left bank, 
lost two boats ; the others grounded on the right 
bank, and were there defended by the cannoneers, 
until the escort came up on the one side, and on 
the other, general Abbe, who had been sent from 
Guardia to their succour. The waters, however, 
suddenly subsided, and the convoy was still in 
danger until Suchet reinforced Abbe, who was 
thus enabled to keep the Spaniards at bay, while 
Habert, with fifteen hundred men, made a diver- 
sion by attacking the camp at Falcet. On the 7th 
the waters again rose and the boats with little loss 
reached Xerta on the 9th, and thus all things were 
ready to commence the siege, but the seventh corps 
still kept aloof. 

Suchet was now exceedingly perplexed ; for the 
provisions he had with so much pains collected, 


from the most distant parts of Aragon, were rapidly chap. 

wasting ; forage was every day becoming scarcer, 

and the plain of Urgel, was by agreement given Nov " 
over to the seventh corps, which thus became a 
burthen instead of an aid to the third corps. The 
latter had been, since the beginning of the year, 
ordered to supply itself entirely from the resources 
of Aragon without any help from France ; and the 
difficulty of so doing may be judged of by the fact, 
that in six months they had consumed above a hun- 
dred and twenty thousand sheep and twelve hun- 
dred bullocks. 

To obviate the embarrasments thus accumulating, 
the French general called the notables and heads of 
the clergy in Aragon to his head-quarters, and with 
their assistance reorganized the whole system of 
internal administration, in such a manner, that, 
giving his confidence to the natives, removing many 
absurd restrictions of their industry and trade, and 
leaving the municipal power and police entirely in 
their hands, he drew forth the resources of the 
provinces in greater abundance than before. And 
yet with less discontent, being well served and 
obeyed, both in matters of administration and po- 
lice, by the Aragonese, whose feelings he was 
careful to soothe, shewing himself in all things, 
an able governor, as well as a great commander. 

Macdonald was now in march from Barcelona 
towards Taragona, and Suchet to aid this operation 
attacked the Spanish troops at Falcet. General 
Habert fell on their camp in front the 19th, and to 
cut off the retreat, two detachments were ordered 
to turn it by the right and left; but Habert's 
assault was so brisk, that before the flanking corps 
could take their stations the Catalans fled, leaving 




book their general Garcia Navarro and three hundred 
xm. . 
1_ men in the hands of the victors. But while Suchet 

Nov. obtained this success on the side of Falcet, the 
Valencian general Bassecour, thinking that the 
main body of the French would be detained by 
Navarro on the left bank of the Ebro, formed the 
design of surprising general Musnier at Uldecona. 
To aid this operation, a flotilla from the harbour 
of Peniscola, attacked Rapita, and other small 
posts occupied by the French, on the coast be- 
tween the Cenia and the Ebro ; and at the same 
time the governor of Tortoza menaced Amposta 
and the stations at the mouth of the Ebro. 

Bassecour moved against Uldecona in three 
columns, one of which, following the coast-road 
towards Alcanar, turned the French left, while 
another passing behind the mountains took post at 
Las Ventallas, in rear of Musnier's position, to cut 
him off from Tortoza. The main body went straight 
against his front, and in the night of the 26th the 
Spanish cavalry fell upon the French camp outside 
the town ; but the guards, undismayed, opened a 
fire which checked the attack, until the troops came 
out of the town and formed in order of battle. 

At daylight the Spanish army was perceived 
covering the hills in front ; and those in rear also, 
for the detachment at Ventallas was in sight ; the 
Memoiw. French were thus surrounded and the action im- 
mediately commenced ; but the Valencians were 
defeated with the loss of sixteen hundred men, and 
the detachment in the rear seeing the result made 
off to the mountains again. Bassecour then with- 
drew in some order behind the Cenia, where in the 
night Musnier surprised him, and at the same 
time sent the cuirassiers by the route of Vinaros to 



cut 'off his retreat, which was made with such chap. 


haste and disorder that the French cavalry falling 

in with the fugitives near Benicarlo, killed or took Nov ' 
nine hundred. Bassecour saved himself in Penis- ^wract of 
cola, and thither also the flotilla, having failed at j^i;^ 1 
Rapita, returned. MsT tch * 

Suchet having thus cleared his rear, sent his 
prisoners to France by Jaca, and directed a convoy 
of prisoners, newly collected at Mequinenza, to fall 
down the Ebro to the magazines at Mora : fearing 
however that the current might again carry the 
boats faster than the escort, he directed the latter 
to proceed first, and sent general Abbe to Flix to 
meet the vessels. The Spaniards in the Garriga 
observing this disposition, placed an ambuscade 
near Mequinenza, and attacked the craft before 
they could come up with the escort ; the boats were 
then run ashore on the right side, and seventy men 
from Mequinenza came down the left bank to their 
aid, which saved the convoy, but the succouring 
detachment was cut to pieces. Soon after this the 
seventh corps having scoured the Garriga took post 
on the left bank of the Ebro, and enabled the third 
corps to commence the long delayed siege. 

d 2 


xiir Tortoza, with a population of ten thousand 

souls and a garrison of from eight to nine thousand 

1810. , & . -iii • • i 

Dec. regular troops, was justly considered the principal 
bulwark of both Catalonia and Valencia, but it was 
under the command of general Lilli, Conde d'Ala- 
cha, a feeble man, whose only claim was, that he 
had shewn less incapacity than others before the 
battle of Tudela in 1808. However, so confident 
were the Spaniards in the strength of the place 
that the French attack was considerably advanced 
ere any interruption was contemplated, and had 
any well considered project for its relief been 
framed, it could not have been executed, because 
jealousy and discord raged amongst the Spanish 
chiefs. Campo Verde was anxious to succeed 
O'Donnel in command of the Catalonian army, 
Bassecourt held unceasing dispute with his own 
officers, and with the members of the junta or 
congress of Valencia ; and Villa Campa repelled 
the interference both of Carbajal and Bassecour. 

At this critical time therefore every thing was 
stagnant, except the English vessels which block- 
aded Rosas, Barcelona, and the mouths of the 
Ebro, or from certain head-lands observed and 
pounced upon the enemy's convoys creeping 
along from port to port : they had thrown provi- 
sions, ammunition, and stores of all kinds into 
Taragona and Tortoza, and were generally success- 


ful, yet at times met with disasters. Thus captain chap. 

Rogers of the Kent, having with him the Ajax, ! — 

Cambrian, Sparrow-hawk, and Minstrel, disem- ^^' 
barked six hundred men and two field-pieces under 
captain Fane at Palamos, where they destroyed a 
convoy intended for Barcelona ; but as the seamen 
were re-embarking in a disorderly manner, the 
French fell upon them and took or killed two hun- 
dred, captain Fane being amongst the prisoners. 

The Catalan army was thirty thousand strong, S^tractof 
including garrisons, and in a better state than itjf s r w s el " 
had hitherto been ; the Valencians, although dis- Mss a . tches 
couraged by the defeat at Uldecona, were still 
numerous, and all things tended to confirm the 
Spaniards in the confident expectation that whether 
succoured or unsuccoured the place would not fall. 
But O'Donnel, who had been created Conde de' 
Bispal was so disabled by wounds, that he resigned 
the command soon after the siege commenced, and 
Campo Verde was by the voice of the people raised 
in his stead ; for it was their nature always to 
believe that the man who made most noise was the 
fittest person to head them, and in this instance, 
as in most others, they were greatly mistaken. 

Tortoza, situated on the left of the Ebro, com- vacant, 
municated with the right bank by a bridge of boats, sadS?' 
which was the only Spanish bridge on that river, 
from Zaragoza to the sea ; and below and above 
the place there was a plain, but so narrowed by 
the juttings of the mountains at the point where 
the town was built, that while part of the houses 
stood close to the water on flat ground, the other 
part stood on the bluff rocky points shot from the 
hills above; and thus appeared to tie the mountains, 
the river, and the plains together. 


book Five of these shoots were taken into the defence, 


' -. either by the ramparts or by outworks. That on 

Dec. tne soutn °f the town was crowned by the fort of 
Orleans, and on the north another was occupied 
by a fort called the Tenaxas. To the east a horn- 
work was raised on a third shoot, which being 
prolonged, and rising suddenly again between the 
suburbs and the city, furnished the site of a castle 
or citadel : the other two, and the deep ravines 
between them were defended by the ramparts of 
the place, which were extremely irregular, and 
strong from their situation, rather than their con- 

There were four fronts. 

1°. The northern defending the suburb. Although 
this front was built on the plain, it was so imbedded 
between the Ebro, the horn- work, the citadel, and 
the Tenaxas, that it could not even be approached 
without first taking the latter fort. 

2°. The eastern. Extending from the horn-work 
to the bastion of San Pico. Here the deep ravines 
and the rocky nature of the ground, which was 
also overlooked by the citadel and flanked by the 
horn-work, rendered any attack very difficult. 

3°. The south eastern. From the bastion of San 
Pico to the bastion of Santa Cruz. This front, pro- 
tected by a deep narrow ravine, was again covered 
by the fort of Orleans, which was itself covered by 
a second ravine. 

4°. The southern. From the Santa Cruz to the 
Fbro. The ground of approach here was flat, the 
soil easy to work in, and the fort of Orleans not 
sufficiently advanced to flank it with any dangerous 
effect ; wherefore against this front Suchet resolved 
to conduct his attack, 


The Rocquetta, a rising ground opposite the chap. 

bridge-head on the right bank of the Ebro, was 

fortified and occupied by three regiments, but the ^ec.' 
other troops were collected at Xerta ; and the 15th, 
before day -break, Suchet crossed the Ebro by his 
own bridge at that point, with eight battalions, 
the sappers, and two squadrons of hussars. He 
marched between the mountains and the river upon 
the fort of Tenaxas, while general Habert, with 
two regiments and three hundred hussars, moved 
from the side of Perillo, and attacked a detach- 
ment of the garrison which was encamped on the 
Col d'Alba eastward of the city. When Suchet's 
column arrived in sight of the works, the head 
took ground, but the rear, under general Harispe, 
filed off to the left, across the rugged shoots from 
the hills, and swept round the place, leaving in 
every ravine and on every ridge a detachment, until 
the half circle ended on the Ebro, below Tortoza. 
The investment was then perfected on the left bank 
by the troops from Rocquetta ; and during this 
movement Habert, having seized the Col d'Alba, 0^1' ex- 
entered the line of investment, driving before him ^ a r ct w e i- 
six hundred men, who hardly escaped being cut off]^ e ^ h 
from the place by the march of Harispe. The MSS - 
communication across the water was then established 
by three, and afterwards by four flying bridges, 
placed above and below the town ; a matter of some 
difficulty and importance, because all the artillery 
and stores had to come from Rocquetta, across the 
water, which was there two hundred yards wide, 
and in certain winds very rough. 

The camps of investment were now secured, and 
meanwhile Macdonald, sending the greatest part of 
his cavalry, for which he could find no forage, back 


book to Lerida by the road of Lardecans, marched, from Mas 
de Mora, across the hills to Perillo, to cover the siege. 

Dec ' His patroles discovered a Spanish division in a po- 
sition resting upon the fort of Felipe de Balaguer, 
yet he would not attack them, and thinking he 
could not remain for want of provisions, returned 
on the 19th to Gniestar ; but this retrograde move- 
ment was like to have exposed the investing troops 
to a disaster, for as the seventh corps retired, a 
second Spanish division coming from Reus rein- 
forced the first. However, Macdonald, seeing this y 
placed Frere's division of six thousand infantry and 
a regiment of cavalry at Suchet's disposal, on con- 
dition that the latter should feed them, which he 
could well do. These troops were immediately 
stationed behind the investing force, on the road of 
Amposta, by which the Spaniards from Taragona 
could most easily approach ; and the remainder of 
the seventh corps encamped at Gniestar, a strong* 
position covering the siege on the side of Falcet, 
only fifteen miles distant from Tortoza. In this 
situation it could be more easily fed from Lerida, 
and could with greater facility send detachments 
up the Ebro, to protect the convoy of the third 
corps coming from Mequinenza. 
T im " The Catalan army was now divided, part being 

moir - kept on the Llobregat, under general Caro, part 
under general Yranzo at Momblanch, and part, 
under Campo Verde, on the hills watching Frere's 
covering division. O'Donnel had before directed 
two convoys upon Tortoza, but the rapidity with 
which the investment had been effected prevented 
them from entering the place ; and while he was 
endeavouring to arrange with Bassecour and Campo 
Verde a general plan of succour, his wounds forced 



him to embark for Valencia, when the command, chap. 
of right, belonged to Yranzo, but the people, as 
I have before said, insisted upon having Campo 


The half bastion of San Pedro, which was si- 
tuated in the plain, and close to the river, was the 
first object of the French attack, and to prevent 
the fire of Fort Orleans from incommoding the 
trenches, the line of approach was traced in a 
slanting direction, refusing the right, and pushing 
forward the left ; and to protect its flanks on the 
one side, Fort Orleans was masked by a false 
attack, while, on the other side of the Ebro, 
trenches were opened against the bridge-head, and 
brought down close to the water. 

The 19th the posts of the besieged were all dri- 
ven in, and an unfinished Spanish work, commenced 
on the heights in advance of Fort Orleans, was taken 
possession of. In the night, a flying sap was com- 
menced upon an extent of three hundred and sixty 
yards, and at a distance of only one hundred and 
sixty from the fort ; but in the following night, the 
true attack was undertaken in the plain, during a 
storm of wind which, together with the negligence 
of the Spaniards, who had placed no guards in 
front of their covered way, enabled the besiegers to 
begin this work at only one hundred and fifty yards 
from the half bastion of San Pedro. This parallel 
was above five hundred yards long, extending from 
the false attack against Fort Orleans, down to the 
bank of the river ; two communications were also 


book begun, and on the left bank ground was broken 

against the bridge-head. 
P^ * The 21st, at day -break, the Spaniards, perceiving 
the works, commenced a heavy fire, and soon after 
made a sally ; but they were overwhelmed by mus- 
ketry from the false attack of Fort Orleans, and 
from the trenches on the right bank of the Ebro. 

In the night of the 21st, the communication in 
the plain was extended to fourteen hundred yards, 
nine batteries were commenced, and bags of earth 
were placed along the edge of the trenches, whence 
chosen men shot down the Spanish artillery men. 

On the 23rd, a night sally, made from the bridge- 
head, was repulsed ; and on the 24th, the second 
parallel of the true attack was commenced. 

In the night of the 25th, at eleven o'clock and at 
one o'clock, separate sallies were again made, but 
both were repulsed, and the works were advanced 
to within twenty-five yards of the pallisades; a 
tenth battery was also commenced, and when day 
broke the Spanish gunners quailed under the aim 
of the chosen marksmen. 

In the night of the 26th, the besieged fell upon 
the head of the sap, which they overturned, and 
killed the sappers, but were finally repulsed by the 
reserve, and the approach was immediately pushed 
forward to the place of arms. Thus, on the seventh: 
night of open trenches, the besiegers were lodged 
in the covered way, before a shot had been fired 
from either breaching or counter batteries ; a re- 
markable instance of activity and boldness, and a 
signal proof that the defence was ill-conducted. 

The night of the 27th, the works were enlarged 
as much as the fire of the place which was un- 
touched would permit ; but the Spaniards seeing 


the besiegers' batteries ready to open, made a gene- chap. 
ral sally through the eastern gates, against the false 


attack at Fort Orleans ; and through the southern 
gates against the works in the plain. General 
Habert drove them back with slaughter from the 
former point, but at the latter they beat the French 
from the covered way, and arriving at the second 
parallel, burnt the gabions and did much damage 
ere the reserves could repulse them. 

The night of the 28th, the batteries were armed 
with forty-five pieces, of which seventeen were 
placed on the right bank, to take the Spanish works 
at the main attack in reverse and to break the 
bridge. At day-break all these guns opened, and 
with success, against the demi-bastion, on the left 
bank of the river ; but the fire from the castle, 
the bridge-head, the horn-work, and the quay, over- 
powered the French guns on the right bank, and 
although the bridge was injured, it was not rendered 

On the 30th, the Spanish fire was in turn over- 
powered by the besiegers, the bridge was then 
broken, and in the following night an attempt was 
made to pass the ditch at the true attack ; but two 
guns which were still untouched and flanked the 
point of attack, defeated this effort. 

In the morning of the 31st, the Spaniards aban- 
doned the bridge-head, and the French batteries on 
the right bank dismounted the two guns which had 
defended the half bastion of San Pedro. The 
besiegers then effected the passage of the ditch 
without difficulty, and attached the miner to the 

In the night of the 31st, the miner worked into 
the wall, and the batteries opened a breach in the 



book curtain, where a lodgement was established in 
preparation for an assault. At ten o'clock in the 

1 R1 1 

January, morning the besieged, alarmed at the progress of 
the attack, displayed the white flag. The negotia- 
tions for a surrender were, however, prolonged 
until evening by the governor, without any result, 
and the miner resumed his work in the night. 

At seven o'clock on the 1st of January, two 
practicable breaches besides that in the curtain 
were opened by the artillery, and the mine was 
ready to explode, when three white flags were seen 
to wave from different parts of the fortress ; never- 
theless the disposition of the garrison was mis- 
trusted, and Suchet demanded as a preliminary the 
immediate possession of one of the forts, — a necessary 
precaution, for disputes arose amongst the besieged, 
and general Lilli intimated to Suchet, that his own 
authority was scarcely recognised. 

In this critical moment, the French general gave 
proof that his talents were not those of a mere sol- 
dier, for suddenly riding up to the gates with a 
considerable staff, and escorted only by a company 
of grenadiers, he informed the Spanish officer on 
guard, that hostilities had ceased, and then, leaving 
his grenadiers on the spot, desired to be conducted 
to the governor who was in the citadel. Lilli still 
wavering, was upon the point of renewing the de- 
fence, in compliance with the desires of the officers 
about him, when the French general thus came 
suddenly into his presence, and, although the ap- 
pearance of the Spanish guards was threatening, 
assumed an imperious tone, spoke largely of the 
impatience of the French army, and even menaced 
the garrison with military execution if any further 
delay occurred ; during this extraordinary scene 


general Habert brought in the grenadiers from the chap. 
gate, and the governor then signing a short capi- 

tulation, gave over the citadel to the French. Januaiy. 

When this event was known in the city, the Spa- 
nish troops assembled, and Alacha, in the presence 
of Suchet ordered them to lay down their arms. 
Four hundred French and about fourteen hundred 
Spaniards had fallen during the siege ; and many 
thousand prisoners, nine standards, one hundred 
pieces of artillery, ten thousand muskets, and im- 
mense magazines, enhanced the value of the con- 
quest, which by some was attributed to general 
Lilli's treachery, by others to his imbecility, and 
it would seem that there was reason for both 

The fall of Tortoza, besides opening the western 
passage into Catalonia, and cutting off the com- 
munication between that province and Valencia, 
reduced the Spanish army to twenty thousand men, 
including the garrisons of the towns which still 
remained in their possession. Campo Verde im- 
mediately retired from Falcet to Momblanch, and 
Suchet, always prompt to make one success the 
prelude to another, endeavoured in the first mo- 
ment of consternation and surprise to get posses- 
sion of the forts of Peniscola and of Felipe de 
Balaguer : nor was he deceived with respect to the 
last, for that place, in which were five guns and a 
hundred men, was taken on the 9th by Habert ; 
but at Peniscola his summons was disregarded and 
his detachment returned. 

Meanwhile Macdonald leaving the Neapolitan 
brigade still on the Ebro, passed by Falcet to Reus, 
where he encamped the 11th, as if to invest Tara- 
gona ; but without any real intention to do so, for 


B xi°f ^ s cavalry and field artillery were left at Lerida 
and Tortoza, and his actual force did not exceed 

January, twelve thousand men. Campo Verde, who had 
retreated before him, then posted Sarsfield with 
six thousand men at Vails, from whence he made 
incursions against Macdonald's foragers, and also 
surprised at Tarega, on the other side of the moun- 
tains, a regiment of Italian dragoons, which would 
have been destroyed but for the succour of a neigh- 
bouring post. 

On the 14th Macdonald having marched towards 
Vails, Sarsfield retired to Pla, and was pursued 
by general Eugenio with two thousand Italian 
infantry. This officer being of a headstrong in- 
tractable disposition, pushed into the plain of Pla, 
contrary to his orders, and was nearing that town, 
when a strong body of cavalry poured out of it ; 
and on each side the Spanish infantry were seen 
descending the hill in order of battle. Eugenio, 
instead of retiring, attacked the first that entered 
the plain, but he fell mortally wounded, and his 
vacani. men retreated fighting : meanwhile the firing being 
et'con- heard at Vails Palombini marched to his assistance, 
General but was himself beaten and thrown into confusion, 


(I OS 



tches and Sarsfield at the head of the Spanish horse 
was preparing to complete the victory, when the 
French colonel Delort bringing up some squa- 
drons charged with great fury, and so brought off 
the Italians ; yet Delort himself was desperately 
wounded, and the whole loss was not less than six 
hundred men. 

Macdonald would not suffer his main body to stir, 
and Vacani asserts that it was only by entreaty, 
that Palombini obtained permission to succour 
Eugenio, which was certainly a great error, for so 






hot and eager was Sarsfield in the pursuit, that he chap 
was come within two miles of Vails, and being on 
open ground might have been crushed in turn. 
He, however, returned unmolested to the pass of 
Cabra, leaving his cavalry as before in Pla, whence 
through bye-roads they communicated with Tara- 

A few days after this fight Sarsfield came out 
again in order of battle, and at the same time 
Campo Verde appeared with a division on the hills 
in rear of Vails. Macdonald was thus surrounded, 
but Palombini's brigade sufficed to send Campo 
Verde back to Taragona, and Sarsfield refused 
battle ; then the French marshal, who had resolved 
to go to Lerida, but wished to move without fight- 
ing, broke up from Vails in the night, and, with 
great order and silence, passed by the road of 
Fuencalde, between the defiles of Cabra and Ribas, 
and though both were occupied by the Spaniards, 
they did not discover his movements until the next 
day. From thence he marched by Momblanch, 
upon Lerida, where he arrived the 19th, and three 
days afterwards spread his troops over the plains 
of Urgel, to collect provisions, money, and trans- 
port, and to watch the defiles of the mountains. 

On the other hand the Catalan general, who had 
received stores and arms both from England and 
Cadiz, renewed the equipment of his troops, and 
called out all the Miguelettes and Somatenes, of 
the hills round the plain of Urgel, to replace the 
loss sustained by the fall of Tortoza. These new 
levies were united at Santa Coloma de Querault 
under Sarsfield, while the regular army assembled 
at Igualada and Villafranca, by which the Spa- 
niards holding a close and concentrated position 



book themselves, cut off Macdonald equally from Bar- 
celona and the Ampurdan; and this latter district 

1811 . ■ i 

February. was continually harassed by Errolles, Rovira, and 
the brigade of Martinez, which still kept the moun- 
tains behind Olot, Vich, and the Cerdana. 

Meanwhile Suchet being called by the exigences 
of his government to Zaragoza, carried one division 
there, and distributed another under Musnier at 
Teruel, Molina, Alcanitz, and Morella : he also 
withdrew his troops from Cambril, which Habert 
had surprised on the 7th of February, but he left 
that general, with a division, in command of Tor- 
toza, having two thousand men at Perillo to con- 
nect the city with San Felipe de Balaguer. Thus 
all things seemed to favour the Spanish side, and 
give importance to their success, against Eugenio ; 
for they did not fail to attribute both Suchet's and 
Macdonald's retreats, to fear occasioned by the 
skirmish with that general ; and with some shew of 
reason as regarded the latter, seeing that his night 
march had all the appearance of a flight. 

Macdonald, while gathering provisions at Lerida, 
and stores and guns at Tortoza, also repaired the 
works of Balaguer near Lerida, to serve as a pivot 
for the troops employed to forage the country 
watered by the Noguera, Cinca, and Legre rivers. 
However Sarsfleld and Campo Verde kept about 
Cervera and Calaf, watching for an opportunity to 
fall on the French detachments, and meanwhile the 
organization of the province went on. 
Append", ft ma y appear extraordinary that the war could 
section 2. have been continued by either side under such diffi- 
culties, but the resources were still great. A pa- 
triotic junta had been formed in Catalonia to pro- 
cure provisions, and although the English orders 


in council interfered with the trade of neutral ves- chap. 

sels bringing grain, bread could be bought at the ! — 

rate of 12lbs. to the dollar, while with lord Wel- 

lington's army in Castile it often cost half a dollar 
a pound. When the French foraging parties came 
out from Barcelona, their march could be always 
traced by the swarms of boats, loaded with peo- 
ple and provisions, which shooting out from the 
coast-towns, would hover, for a while, under the 
protection of the English vessels, and then return 
when the danger was over : and the enemy did 
never meddle with these boats lest they should re- 
move the cover to their own supplies. Suchet how- 
ever armed Rapita, and other small places, at the 
mouth of the Ebro, with a view to afford shelter to 
certain craft, which he kept to watch for provision- 
vessels, sailing from Valencia for Taragona, and 
to aid French vessels engaged in a like course 
coming from France. 

To feed Barcelona, Maurice Mathieu at times 
occupied the head-lands from St. Filieu, to Blanes, 
with troops, and thus small convoys crept along 
shore ; a fleet loaded with provisions and pow- 
der, escorted by three frigates, entered it in Fe- 
bruary, and a continual stream of supply was also 
kept up by sailing-boats and other small vessels, 
which could not be easily detected amidst the nu- 
merous craft belonging to the people along the 
coast. And besides these channels, as the claims 
of hunger are paramount to all others, it was ne- 
cessary, for the sake of the inhabitants, to permit 
provision sometimes to reach Barcelona by land ; 
the Spanish generals winked at it, and Milans and 
Lacy, have even been charged with permitting corn 
to pass into that city for private profit, as well as 

VOL. iv. . e 




hook from consideration for the citizens. By these, and 

— like expedients, the war was sustained. 

March. ^° important event occurred after the skirmish 
in which Eugenio fell, until the 3d of March, when 
the Spaniards having observed that the garrison of 
Tortoza was weakened by the detachment at Perillo, 
official endeavoured to cut the latter off, intending if suc- 
wr! wei-° f ce ssful to assault Tortoza itself. At the same time 
IpatThS 6 " they also attacked the fort of San Filippe, but 
MSS * failed, and the French at Perillo effected their 
retreat although with considerable loss. This at- 
tempt was however followed by a more important 
effort. On the 19th of March, Campo Verde 
having assembled eight thousand men at Molinos 
del Rey, four thousand at Guisols, and three thou- 
sand at Igualada, prepared to surprise the city and 
forts of Barcelona, for he had, as he thought, 
corrupted the town-major of Monjuic. Trusting to 
this treason, he first sent eight hundred chosen gre- 
nadiers in the night by the hills of Hospitalette, 
to enter that place, and they descended into the 
ditch in expectation of having the gate opened ; 
but Maurice Mathieu, apprized of the plan, had 
prepared every thing to receive this unfortunate 
column, which was in an instant overwhelmed with 

Napoleon now changed the system of the war. 
All that part of Catalonia west of the Upper Llo- 
bregat, and from Igualada by Ordal to the sea, in- 
cluding the district of Tortoza, was placed under 
Suchet's government, and seventeen thousand of 
Macdonald's troops were united to the third corps, 
which was thus augmented to forty-two thousand 
men, and took the title of the " Army of Ar agon." 
It was destined to besiege Taragona, while Mac- 


donald, whose force was thus reduced to twenty- chap. 


seven thousand under arms, including fifteen thou- 
sand in garrison and in the Ampurdan, was re- ^J^ 
stricted to the upper part of Catalonia. His orders 
were to attack Cardona, Berga, Seu d'Urgel, and 
Montserrat, and to war down Martinez, Manso, 
Rovira, and other chiefs, who kept in the mountains 
between Olot and the Cerdana : and a division of 
five thousand men, chiefly composed of national 
guards, was also ordered to assemble at Mont 
Louis, for the purpose of acting in the Cerclaiia, 
and on the rear of the partizans in the high valleys. 
By these means the line of operations for the in- 
vasion of Catalonia was altered from France to 
Aragon, the difficulties were lessened, the seventh 
corps reduced in numbers, became, instead of the 
principal, the secondary army ; and Macdonald's 
formal method was thus exchanged for the lively 
vigorous talent of Suchet. But the delay already 
caused in the siege of Tortoza, could never be 
compensated ; Suchet had been kept on the Ebro, 
when he should have been on the Guadalaviar, 
and this enabled the Murcians to keep the fourth 
corps in Grenada, when it should have been on the 
Tagus aiding Massena. 

e 2 





book When the troops of the seventh corps were in- 
corporated with the army of Aragon, the prepara- 
tions for the siege of Taragona, were pushed for- 
ward with Suchet's usual activity ; but previous to 
touching upon that subject it is necessary to notice 
the guerilla warfare, which Villa Campa, and others, 
had carried on against Aragon during the siege of 
Tortoza. This warfare was stimulated by the ap- 
pointment of the secret juntas, and by the supplies 
which England furnished, especially along the 
northern coast, from Coruria to Bilbao, where ex- 
perience had also produced a better application of 
them than heretofore. The movements of the En- 
glish squadrons, in that sea, being from the same 
cause better combined with the operations of the 
Partidas, rendered the latter more formidable, and 
they became more harassing to the enemy as they 
acquired something of the consistency of regular 
troops in their organization, although irregular in 
their mode of operations : for it must not be sup- 
posed, that because the guerilla system was in 
itself unequal to the deliverance of the country, 
and was necessarily accompanied with great evils, 
that as an auxiliary it was altogether useless. The 
interruption of the French correspondence was, as 
I have already said, tantamount to a diminution 
on their side of thirty thousand regular troops, 
without reckoning those who were necessarily 



employed to watch and pursue the Partidas ; this chap. 
estimate may even be considered too low, and it is 


certain that the moral effect produced over Europe ^^ 
by the struggle thus maintained, was very con- 

Nevertheless the same number of men under a 
good discipline would have been more efficacious, 
less onerous to the country people, and less subversive 
of social order. When the regular army is completed, 
all that remains in a country may be turned to ad- 
vantage as irregulars, yet they are to be valued as 
their degree of organization approaches that of the 
regular troops : thus militia are better than armed 
bodies of peasantry, and these last, if directed by 
regular officers, better than sudden insurrections of 
villagers. But the Spanish armies were never 
completed, never well organized ; and when they 
were dispersed, which happened nearly as often as 
they took the field, the war must have ceased in 
Spain, had it not been kept alive by the Partidas, 
and it is there we find their moral value. Again, 
when the British armies kept the field, the Partidas 
harassed the enemy's communications, and this 
constituted their military value ; yet it is certain Appendix, 
that they never much exceeded thirty thousand in s^'tion2. 
number ; and they could not have long existed in 
any numbers without the supplies of England, 
unless a spirit of order and providence, very dif- 
ferent from any thing witnessed during the war, 
had arisen in Spain. How absurd then to reverse 
the order of the resources possessed by an invaded 
country, to confound the moral with the military 
means, to place the irregular resistance of the pea- 
sants first, and that of the soldiers last in the scale 
of physical defence. 


book That many of the Partida chiefs became less 


active, after they received regular rank, is unde- 
March n i a ^ e > but ^ ls was not so much a consequence of 
the change of denomination, as of the inveterate 
abuses which oppressed the vigour of the regular 
armies, and by which the Partidas were necessarily 
affected when they became a constituent part of 
those armies ; many persons of weight have indeed 
ascribed entirely to this cause, the acknowledged 
diminution of their general activity at one period. 
It seems, however, more probable that a life of toil 
and danger, repeated defeats, the scarcity of plunder, 
and the discontent of the people at the exactions 
of the chiefs, had in reality abated the desire to 
continue the struggle ; inactivity was rather the 
sign of subjection than the result of an injudicious 
interference by the government. But it is time to 
support this reasoning by facts. 

During the siege of Tortoza, the concentration 
of the third and seventh corps exposed Aragon 
and Catalonia to desultory enterprises at a moment 
when the Partidas, rendered more numerous and 
powerful by the secret juntas, were also more ardent, 
from the assembly of the Cortez, by which the 
people's importance in the struggle seemed at last 
to be acknowledged. Hence no better test of their 
real influence on the general operations can be 
found than their exploits during that period, when 
two French armies were fixed as it were to one 
spot, the supplies from France nearly cut off by 
natural difficulties, the district immediately around 
Tortoza completely sterile, Catalonia generally ex- 
hausted, and a project to create a fictitious scarcity 
in the fertile parts of Aragon diligently and in some 
sort successfully pursued by the secret juntas. The 


number of French foraging parties, and the dis- chap. 

tances to which they were sent were then greatly 
increased, and the facility of cutting them off pro- ^J^ 
portionably augmented. Now the several opera- 
tions of Villa Campa during the blockade have 
been already related, but, although sometimes suc- 
cessful, the results were mostly adverse to the 
Spaniards ; and when that chief, after the siege 
was actually commenced, came down, on the 19th 
December 1810, towards the side of Daroca, his 
cavalry was surprised by colonel Kliski, who cap- 
tured or killed one hundred and fifty in the village 
of Blancas. The Spanish chief then retired, but 
being soon after joined by the Empecinado from 
Cuen^a, he returned in January to the frontier of 
Aragon, and took post between Molina and Al- 

At this period Tortoza had surrendered, and 
Musnier's division was spread along the western 
part of Aragon, wherefore Suchet immediately de- 
tached general Paris with one column from Zaragoza, 
and general Abbe with another from Teruel, to chase 
these two Partidas. Paris fell in with the Empe- 
cinado near Molina, and the latter then joined Villa 
Campa, but the French general forced both from 
their mountain position near Frias, where he was 
joined by Abbe; and they continued the pursuit for 
several days, but finding that the fugitives took dif- 
ferent routes, again separated ; Paris followed Villa 
Campa, and Abbe pursued the Empecinado through 
Cuenca, from whence Carbajal and the secret junta 
immediately fled. Paris failing to overtake Villa 
Campa, entered Beleta, Cobeta, and Paralejos, all 
three containing manufactories for arms, which he 
destroyed, and then returned; and the whole expedi- 



rook tion lasted only twelve days, yet the smaller Par- 


tidas, in Aragon, had taken advantage of it to cut 
April! °ff a detachment of fifty men near Fuentes : and 
this was followed up on the side of Navarre by 
Mina, who entered the Cinco Villas in April, and 
cut to pieces one hundred and fifty gem cTarmes 
near Sadava. However Chlopiski pursued him also 
so closely, that he obliged his band to disperse near 
Coseda in Navarre. 

During this time the Valencians had been plunged 
in disputes, Bassecourwas displaced, and Coup igny 
appointed in his stead. The notables, indeed, raised 
a sum of money for recruits, but Coupigny would 
not take the command, because the Murcian army 
was not also given to him ; and that army, although 
numerous, was in a very neglected state, and unable 
to undertake any service. However, when Tortoza 
fell, the Valencians were frightened, and set about 
their own defence. They repaired and garrisoned 
the fort of Oropesa, and some smaller posts on the 
coast, along which runs the only artillery-road to 
their capital : they commenced fortifying Murviedro, 
or rather the rock of Saguntum overhanging it, and 
they sent fifteen hundred men into the hills about 
Cantavieja. These last were dispersed on the 5th of 
April by a column from Teruel ; and on the 11th 
another body having attempted to surprise Uldecona, 
which was weakly guarded, were also defeated and 
sabred by the French cavalry. 

These different events, especially the destruction 
of the gun-manufactories, repressed the activity of 
the parti zans, and Suchet was enabled to go to 
Lerida, in the latter end of March, to receive the 
soldiers to be drafted from the seventh corps : Mac- 
donald himself could not, however, regain Barcelona 


without an escort, and hence seven thousand men CI j* p - 

marched with him on the 29th of the month, not 

by Igualada, which was occupied in force by Sars- April. 
field, but by the circuitous way of Manresa; for 
neither Macdonald nor Suchet wished to engage 
in desultory actions with the forces destined for the 
siege. Nevertheless Sarsfield, getting intelligence 
of the march, passed by Calaf with his own and 
Eroles' troops, and waited on Macdonald's flanks 
and rear near the Cardenera river, while a detach- 
ment, barricading the bridge of Manresa, opposed 
him in front. This bridge was indeed carried, but 
the town being abandoned, the Italian soldiers 
wantonly set fire to it in the night ; an act which 
was immediately revenged, for the flames being 
seen to a great distance, so enraged the Catalans, 
that in the morning all the armed. men in the district, 
whether regulars, Miguelettes, or Somatenes, were 
assembled on the neighbouring hills, and fell with 
infinite fury upon Macdonald's rear, as it passed 
out from the ruins of the burning city. The head 
of the French column was then pushing for the 
bridge of Villamara, over the Llobregat, which was 
two leagues distant; and as the country between 
the rivers was one vast mountain, Sarsfield, seeing 
that the French rear stood firm to receive the attack 
of the Somatenes, while the front still advanced, 
thought to place his division between, by moving 
along the heights which skirted the road. Mac- 
donald, however, concentrated his troops, gained 
the second bridge, and passed the Llobregat, but 
with great difficulty and with the loss of four 
hundred men, for his march was continually under 
Sarsfield's fire, and some of his troops were even 
cut off from the bridge, and obliged to cross by a 


hook ford higher up. During the night, however, he col- 
lected his scattered men, and moved upon Sabadel, 

April wnence ne pushed on alone for Barcelona, and on 
the 3d of April, Harispe, who commanded the 
escort, recommenced the march, and passing by 
Villa Franca, Christina, Cabra, and Momblanch, 
returned to Lerida the 10th. 

The invasion of Catalonia was now divided into 
three parts, each assigned to a distinct army. 

1°. Suchet, with that of Aragon, was to take 
Taragona and subdue the lower part of the province. 

2°. Macdonald, with that part of the seventh 
corps called the active army of Catalonia, was to 
break the long Spanish line extending from Tara- 
gona, through Montserrat to the Cerdana, and the 
high mountains about Olot. 

3°. Baraguay d'Hilliers, having his head-quarters 
at Gerona, was to hold the Ampurdan with the 
troops before assigned to his charge, and to co- 
operate, as occasion might offer, with Macdonald, 
under whose orders he still remained ; and the 
division of five thousand men before mentioned as 
having been collected near Mount Louis, at the en- 
trance of the French Cerdana, was to act on the 
rear of the Spaniards in the mountains, while the 
others attacked them in front. Nor did the success 
appear doubtful, for the hopes and means of the 
province were both sinking. The great losses of 
men sustained at Tortoza and in the different com- 
bats ; the reputation of Suchet ; the failure of the 
attempts to surprise Barcelona, Perillo, and San 
Filippe de Balaguer ; the incapacity of Campo 
Verde, which was now generally felt, and the con- 
sequent desertion of the Miguelettes, would pro- 
bably have rendered certain the French plans, if 


at the very moment of execution they had not been chap. 
marred by Rovira, who surprised the great fortress 


of Figueras, the key of the Pyrenees on that side of j, 81 ^" 
Catalonia. This, the boldest and most important 
stroke made by a Partida chief, during the whole 
war, merits a particular detail. 




The governor of the place, general Guillot, en- v 
forced no military discipline, his guards were weak, Abstract 
he permitted the soldiers to use the pallisades for iJi" ey 'si)c- 
fuel, and often detached the greatest part of the^ss!™ 8 ' 
garrison to make incursions to a distance from the Campbell's 
place ; in all things disregarding the rules of ser- General 
vice. The town, which is situated below the hill, Sss? s 
upon which the great fortress of Fernando stands, £S££t«£ 
was momentarily occupied by the Italian general 5?. stu. 
Peyri, with about six hundred men, who were ^.mss. 
destined to join Macdonald, and who trusting to 
the strength of the fortress above, were in no 
manner on their guard. And the garrison above 
was still more negligent ; for Guillot had on the 
9th of April sent out his best men to disperse some 
Somatenes assembled in the neighbouring hills, and 
this detachment having returned at night fatigued, 
and being to go out again the next day, slept while 
the gates were confided to convalescents, or men 
unfit for duty : thus the ramparts were entirely un- 
guarded. Now there were in the fort two Catalan 
brothers named Palopos, and a man called Juan, 
employed as under-storekeepers, who being gained 
by Rovira had, such was the negligence of disci- 
pline, obtained from the head of their department 



book the keys of the magazines, and also that of a 
— 1_ postern under one of the gates. 

A rj y Rovira, having arranged his plan, came down 
from the mountain of St. Lorens de Muga in the 
night of the 9th, and secretly reached the covered 
way with seven hundred chosen men of his own 
Partida. General Martinez followed in support 
with about three thousand Miguelettes, and the 
Catalan brothers, having previously arranged the 
signals, opened the postern, and admitted Rovira, 
who immediately disarmed the guard and set wide 
the gates for the reserve ; and although some shots 
were fired, which alarmed the garrison, Martinez 
came up so quickly that no effectual resistance could 
be made. Thirty or forty men were killed or wounded, 
the magazines were seized, the governor and sixteen 
hundred soldiers and camp-followers were taken in 
their quarters, and thus in an hour Rovira mas- 
tered one of the strongest fortresses in Europe : 
three cannon-shot were then fired as a signal to the 
Somatenes in the surrounding mountains, that the 
place was taken, and that they were to bring in 
provisions as rapidly as possible. Meanwhile ge- 
neral Peyri alarmed by the noise in the fortress 
and guessing at the cause, had collected the troops, 
baggage, sick men, and stores in the town below, 
and sent notice to Gerona, but he made no attempt 
to retake the place, and at daylight retired to Bas- 
cara. For having mounted the hills during the night, 
to observe how matters went, he thought nothing 
could be done, an opinion condemned by some as 
a great error ; and indeed it appears probable that 
during the confusion of the first surprise, a brisk 
attempt by six hundred fresh men might have re- 
covered the fortress. At Bascara five hundred men 


detached from Gerona, on the spur of the occa- chap. 

sion, met him with orders to re-invest the place, 
and Baraguay d'Hilliers promised to follow with ^ 1 n 1 1 ' 
all his forces without any delay. Then Peyri, 
although troubled by the fears of his troops, many 
of whom were only national guards, returned to 
Figueras, and driving the Spaniards out of the town 
took post in front of the fort above ; but he could 
not prevent Martinez from receiving some assist- 
ance in men and provisions from the Somatenes. 
The news of Rovira's exploit spread with incon- 
ceivable rapidity throughout the Peninsula, ex- 
tending its exhilarating influence, even to the 
Anglo-Portuguese army, then not much given to 
credit or admire the exploits of the Spaniards, but 
Baraguay d'Hilliers with great promptness assem- 
bled his dispersed troops, and on the 13th in- 
vested the fort with six thousand infantry and five 
hundred cavalry; and this so quickly that the 
Spaniard had not time, or, more probably neglected, 
to remove, sixteen thousand muskets which were 
in the place. 

Martinez remained governor, but Rovira was 
again in the mountains, and all Catalonia, animated 
by the Promothean touch of this Partida chief, 
seemed to be moving at once upon Figueras. 
Campo Verde came up to Vich, intending first to 
relieve Figueras, and then in concert with the 
English and Spanish vessels to blockade Rosas by 
land and sea. Rovira himself collected a convoy 
of provisions near Olot. Captain Bullen with the 
Cambrian and Volontaire frigates, taking advantage 
of the French troops having been withdrawn from 
Gerona, drove out the small garrison from San 
Filieu and Palamos, destroyed the batteries, and 


p.ook made sail to join captain Codrington at Rosas. A 


Spanish frigate, with a fleet of coasting-vessels 
April! l° a ded with supplies, anchored at Palamos ; and 
Francisco Milans, after beating a small French de- 
tachment near Arens de Mar, invested Hostalrich ; 
Juan Claros hovered about Gerona, and Eroles 
and Manso coming from Montserrat reduced Olot 
and Castelfollit. Sarsfield however remained in the 
Seu d'Urgel, and directed the mountaineers to 
establish themselves at Balaguer, but they were 
driven away again with great loss by a detachment 
from the garrison of Lerida. 

On the 3d of May, Rovira having brought his 
convoy up to Besalu, Campo Verde, who had ar- 
ranged that captain Codrington should make a 
diversion by an attack on Rosas, drew Milans 
from Hostalrich, and having thus united eleven 
thousand men marched in several columns from 
Avionet and Villa Fan against the town, hoping 
to draw Baraguay d'Hilliers to that side; and to 
beat him, while Rovira, forcing a small camp 
near Llers, at the opposite quarter, should intro- 
duce the convoy and its escort into the fortress. 
The circuit of investment was wide, and very dif- 
ficult, and therefore slightly furnished of men ; 
but it was strengthened by some works, and when 
the Spanish columns first advanced, the French 
general reinforced the camp near Llers, and then 
hastened with four thousand men against Campo 
Verde, who was already in the valley of Figueras, 
and only opposed by one battalion. Baraguay 
d'Hilliers immediately fell on the right flank of 
the Spaniards and defeated them ; the French ca- 
valry, which had been before driven in from the 
front, rallied and completed the victory, and the 


Spaniards retreated with a loss of fifteen hundred chap. 
including prisoners. This affair was exceedingly 

ill-managed by Campo Verde, who was so sure of J 81 . 1, 
success that he kept the sheep of the convoy too 
far behind, to enter, although the way was open for 
some time, hence the succour was confined to a few 
artillery-men, some tobacco, and medicines. Mean- 
while the English ships landed some men at Rosas, 
but neither did this produce any serious effect, and 
the attempt to relieve Figueras having thus generally 
failed, that place was left to its own resources which 
were few ; for the French with an unaccountable 
negligence had always kept a scanty supply of 
provisions and stores there. Martinez, who had now 
above four thousand men, was therefore obliged to 
practise the most rigorous economy in the distri- 
bution of food, and in bearing such privations the 
peninsular race are unrivalled. 

Macdonald was so concerned for the loss of 
Figueras, that, setting aside all his own plans, he 
earnestly adjured Suchet to suspend the siege of 
Taragona, and restore him the troops of the seventh 
corps : Maurice Mathieu also wrote from Barce- 
lona in a like strain, thinking that the possession 
of Upper Catalonia depended upon one powerful 
effort to recover the lost fortress. But Suchet, who 
had no immediate interest in that part of the pro- 
vince, whose hopes of obtaining a marshal's staff 
rested on the taking of Taragona, and whose pre- 
parations were all made for that siege, Suchet I 
say, whose judgement was unclouded, and whose 
military talent was of a high order, refused to move 
a step towards Figueras, or even to delay, for one 
moment, his march against Taragona. 

He said that " his battalions being scattered, in 


rook search of supplies, he could not reunite them, and 
reach Figueras under twenty-five days ; during 

xi n 

1 ^ 11 .- that time the enemy, unless prevented by Baraguay 
d'Hilliers, could gather in provisions, receive rein- 
forcements, and secure the fortress. A simple 
blockade might be established by the nearest troops, 
and to accumulate great numbers on such a sterile 
spot would not forward the recapture, but would 
create infinite difficulties with respect to sub- 
sistence. It was probable Napoleon had already 
received information of the disaster, and given 
orders for the remedy ; and it was by no means 
reasonable to renounce the attack on Taragona, the 
only remaining bulwark of Catalonia, at the very 
moment of execution, because of the loss of a fort ; 
it was in Taragona, the greatest part of the forces of 
Catalonia would be shut up, and it was only in such 
a situation that they could be made prisoners ; at 
Lerida, Mequinenza, and Tortoza, eighteen thousand 
men and eight hundred officers had been captured, 
and if ten or twelve thousand more could be taken 
in Taragona, the strength of Catalonia would be 
entirely broken. If the Spaniards failed in revic- 
tualling Figueras, that place, by occupying their 
attention, would become more hurtful than useful 
to them ; because Campo Verde might, and most 
probably would, march to its succour, and thus 
weaken Taragona, which was a reason for hastening 
rather than suspending the investment of the latter; 
wherefore he resolved, notwithstanding the separation 
of his battalions and the incomplete state of his 
preparations, to move down immediately and com- 
mence the siege." A wise determination and alone 
sufficient to justify his reputation as a general. 
Macdonald was now fain to send all the troops 


he could safely draw together, to reinforce Bara- chap. 

guay d'Hilliers. In June, when a detachment from 
Toulon, and some frontier guards had arrived ^JjJ 
at Figueras, the united forces amounting to fifteen 
thousand men, he took the command in person and 
established a rigorous blockade, working day and 
night, to construct works of circumvallation and 
contravallation ; his lines six miles in length, crown- 
ing the tops of the mountains and sinking into the 
deepest valleys, proved what prodigious labours 
even small armies are capable of. Thus with in- 
cessant wakefulness Macdonald recovered the 
place ; but this was at a late period in the year, 
and when Suchet's operations had quite changed the 
aspect of affairs. 

When Tortoza fell, that general's moveable 
columns traversing the borders of Castile, the 
eastern districts of Valencia, a portion of Navarre, 
and all the lower province of Catalonia, protected 
the collection of supplies, and suppressed the 
smaller bands which swarmed in those parts ; 
hence, when the siege of Taragona was confided to 
the third corps, the magazines, at Lerida and Mora, 
were already full ; and a battering train was formed 
at Tortoza, to which place the tools, platforms, and 
other materials, fabricated at Zaragosa were con- 
veyed. Fifteen hundred draft horses, the greatest 
part of the artillery -men and engineers, and ten batta- 
lions of infantry were also collected in that town, 
and from thence shot and shells were continually 
forwarded to San Felippe de Balaguer. This was 
a fine application of Caesar's maxim, that war should 
maintain itself, for all the money, the guns, provi- 
sions, and materials, collected for this siege, were 



book the fruits of former victories ; nothing was de- 
— rived from France bat the men. It is curious, 

April, however, that Suchet so little understood the nature 
and effects of the English system of finance, that 
he observes, in his memoirs, upon the ability with 
which the ministers, made Spain pay the expense 
of this war by never permitting English gold to go 
to the Peninsula ; he was ignorant, that the paper 
money system had left them no English gold to 

The want of forage in the district of Tortoza, 
and the advantage of the carriage-road by the Col 
de Balaguer, induced the French general to direct 
his artillery that way ; but his provisions, and other 
stores, passed from Mora by Falcet and Momblanch 
to Reus, in which latter town he proposed to esta- 
blish his stores for the siege, while Mora, the chief 
magazine, was supplied from Zaragoza, Caspe, and 
Mequinenza. Divers other arrangements, of which 
I shall now give the outline, contributed to the 
security of the communications, and enabled the 
army of Aragon to undertake the great enterprize 
for which it was destined. 

1°. Detachments of gens-d'armes and of the 
frontier guards of France, descending the high 
valleys of Aragon, helped to maintain tranquillity 
on the left bank of the Ebro, and occupied the 
castles of Venasque and Jaca, which had been taken 
by Suchet in his previous campaign. 

2°. The line of correspondence from France, in- 
stead of running as before through Guipuscoa and 
Navarre, by Pampeluna, was now directed by Pau, 
Oleron, and Jaca to Zaragoza ; and in the latter 
city, and in the towns around it, four or five batta- 



lions, and a proportion of horsemen and artillery, chap. 



were disposed, to watch the Partidas frqm Navarre 

and the Moncayo mountains. Amii. 

3°. Four battalions with cavalry and guns, were 
posted at Daroca under general Paris, whose com- 
mand extended from thence to the fort of Molina, 
which was armed and garrisoned. 

4°. General Abbe was placed at Teruel with five 
battalions, three hundred cuirassiers, and two pieces 
of artillery, to watch Villa Campa, and the Valen- 
cian army which was again in the field. 

5°. Alcanitz aud Morella were occupied by four- 
teen hundred men, whereby that short passage 
through the mountains from Aragon to Valencia 
was secured ; and from thence the line to Caspe, 
and down the Ebro from Mequinenza to Tortoza, 
was protected by twelve hundred men ; Tortoza 
itself was garrisoned by two battalions, the forts at 
the mouth of the Ebro were occupied, and four 
hundred men were placed in Rapita. 

This line of defence from right to left was four- 
teen days march, but the number of fortified posts 
enabled the troops to move from point to point, 
without much danger ; and thus the army of the 
great and rich province of Valencia, the division of 
Villa Campa, the Partidas of New Castile and Na- 
varre, including Mina and the Empecinado, the most 
powerful of those independent chiefs, were all set 
at nought by twelve thousand French, although 
the latter had to defend a line of one hundred and 
fifty miles. Under cover of this feeble chain of 
defence, Suchet besieged a strong city which had a 
powerful garrison, an open harbour, a commanding 
squadron of ships, and a free communication, by sea, 
with Cadiz, Valencia, Gibraltar, and the Balearic 

f 2 



book islands. It is true that detachments from the army 

of the centre, acting on a large circuit round Ma- 

A p ,ii* drid, sometimes dispersed, and chased the Partidas 
that threatened Suchet's line of defence, but at this 
period, from circumstances to be hereafter men- 
tioned, that army was in a manner paralysed. 

While the French general's posts were being 
established, he turned his attention to the arrange- 
ments for a permanent supply of food. The diffi- 
culty of procuring meat was become great, because 
he wisely refrained from using up the sheep and 
cattle of Aragon, lest the future supply of his 
army should be anticipated, and the minds of the 
people of that province alienated by the destruction 
of their breeding flocks ; to avoid this, he engaged 
contractors to furnish him from France, and so 
completely had he pacified the Aragonese, through 
whose territories the flocks were brought, and with 
whose money they were paid for, that none of his 
contracts failed. But as these resources were not 
immediately available, the troops on the right bank 
of the Ebro made incursions after cattle beyond the 
frontiers of Aragon ; and when Harispe returned 
from Barcelona, eight battalions marched upon a 
like service up the higher valleys of the Pyrenees. 
It was in this state of affairs that Suchet received 
intelligence of the surprise of Figueras, which in- 
duced him to hasten the investment of Taragona. 
Meanwhile, fearing that Mina might penetrate to 
the higher valleys of Aragon, and in conjunction 
with the partidas of Upper Catalonia cut off all 
correspondence with France, he detached Chlopiski 
with four battalions and two hundred hussars to watch 
the movements of that chief only, and demanded 
of the emperor, that some troops from Pampeluna 


should occupy Sanguessa, while others, from the chap. 

army of the north, should relieve the detachments ' 

of the army of Aragon, at Soria and Calatayud. i 81 ^- 

The battalions sent up the high valleys of Cata- 
lonia returned in the latter end of April. Suchet 
then reviewed his troops, issued a month's pay, 
and six day's provisions to each soldier, loaded 
many carriages and mules with flour, and, having 
first spread a report, that he was going to relieve 
Figueras, commenced his march to Taragona by 
the way of Momblanch. Some Miguel ettes en- 
trenched in the pass of Ribas, were dispersed by 
Harispe's division on the 1st of May, and the army 
descended the hills to Alcover ; but four hundred men 
were left in Momblanch, where a post was fortified, 
to protect the line of communication with Lerida, 
and to prevent the Spanish partizans on that flank, 
from troubling the communication between Mora 
and Reus. The 2d the head-quarters were fixed at 
Reus, and the 3d the Spanish outposts were 
driven over the Francoli ; meanwhile Habert, send- 
ing the artillery from Tortoza by the Col de 
Balaguer, moved himself with a large convoy from 
Mora by Falcet to Reus. 


B xiii K ^ N Taragona, although a siege had been so long 

■ expected, there was a great scarcity of money and 

May. ammunition, and so many men had, as Suchet 
foresaw, been drawn off to succour Figueras, that 
the garrison, commanded by colonel Gonzalez, was 
not more than six thousand, including twelve hun- 
dred armed inhabitants and the seamen of the port. 
The town was encumbered with defensive works of 
all kinds, but most of them were ill-constructed, 
irregular, and without convenient places for making 

Taragona itself was built upon rocks, steep on 
the north-east and south, but sinking gently on the 
south-west and west into low ground. A mole 
formed a harbour capable of receiving ships of the 
line, and beyond the mole there was a roadstead. 
The upper town was surrounded by ancient walls, 
crowning the rocks, and these walls were inclosed 
by a second rampart with irregular bastions which 
ran round the whole city. On the east, across the 
road to Barcelona, there was a chain of redoubts 
connected by curtains, with a ditch and covered 
way ; and behind this line there was a rocky space 
called the Milagro, opening between the body of 
the place and the sea. The lower town, or suburb, 
was separated from the upper, by the inner ramparts 
of the latter, and was protected by three regular and 


some irregular bastions with a ditch ; a square work, chap. 
called Fort Royal, formed a species of citadel - 


within, and the double town presented the figure M ' 
of an irregular oblong, whose length lying parallel 
to the sea, was about twelve hundred yards. 

On the east beyond the walls, a newly con- 
structed line of defence was carried along the coast 
to the mouth of the Francoli, where it ended in a 
large redoubt, built to secure access to that river 
when the ancient aqueducts which furnished the 
city with water should be cut by the French. This 
line was strengthened by a second redoubt, called 
the Prince, half-way between that near the Francoli 
and the town ; and it was supported by the mole 
which being armed with batteries, and nearly in a 
parallel direction, formed as it were a second sea- 

The approach on the side of the Francoli river 
was of a level character, and exposed to the fire of 
the Olivo, a large outwork on the north, crowning 
a rocky table-land of an equal height with the 
upper town, but divided from it by a ravine nearly 
half-a-mile wide, across which the aqueducts of the 
place were carried. This Olivo was an irregular 
horn-work, four hundred yards long, with a ditch 
twenty-four feet deep and forty wide, but the co- 
vered way was not completed, and the gorge was 
only closed by a loopholed wall ; neither was this 
defence quite finished, as the steepness of the 
rock, and the fire of the city appeared to render it 
secure. The bastion on the left of the Olivo, was 
cut off by a ditch and a rampart from the body of 
the work, and on the right also within the rampart 
there was a sn^all redoubt of refuge, with a high 
cavalier or bank, on which three guns were placed 


book that overlooked all the country round. The ordi- 


nary garrison of the Olivo was from twelve to fif- 
May." teen hundred men, and it contained fifty out of 
three hundred pieces of artillery which served the 
defence of Taragona. 

The nature of the soil combined with the pecu- 
liarities of the works, determined Suchet's line of 
attack. On the north and east side the ground was 
rocky, the fronts of defence wide, the approaches 
unfavourable for breaching batteries ; and as all 
the guns and stores would have to be dragged over 
the hills on a great circuit, unless the Olivo was 
first taken, no difficulty could be avoided in an 
attack. Wherefore, on the side of the lower town the 
French resolved to approach, although the artificial 
defences were there accumulated, and the ground 
between the town and the Francoli river taken in 
reverse by the Olivo, which rendered it necessary 
first to reduce that outwork. But this part was 
chosen by the French, because the soil was deep and 
easily moved, their depots and parks close at hand, 
the ground-plot of the works so salient that they 
could be easily embraced with fire, and because the 
attack would, it was supposed, cut off the garrison 
from fresh water, yet this last advantage was not 

On the 4th of May the French, passing the Fran- 
coli, drove in the outposts, took possession of two 
small detached redoubts, situated on the northern 
side, called the forts of Loretto, and invested the 
place. However the Spanish troops supported by 
the fire of the Olivo killed and wounded two hun- 
dred men, and the next day a fruitless attempt was 
made to retake the lost ground ; at the same time 
the fleet under captain Codrington, consisting of 


three English ships of the line and three frigates, chap. 

besides sloops and Spanish vessels of war, can- ! 

nonaded the French right, and harassed their con- I? 11 ' 
voys, then coming by the coast-road from the Col 
de Balaguer. The investing troops whose posts 
were very close to the Olivo, were also greatly 
incommoded by the heavy fire from that outwork, 
yet the line was maintained and perfected. 

Habert's division, forming the right wing, ex- 
tended from the sea to the bridge of the Francoli ; 
general Frere's division connected Habert with 
Harispe's, whose troops occupied the ground before 
the Olivo ; the Italian division prolonged Ha- 
rispe's left to the road of Barcelona which runs 
close to the sea on the east side of Taragona; 
three regiments were placed in reserve higher up 
on the Francoli, where a trestle bridge was cast, 
and the park, which was established on the right 
of that river, at the village of Canonja, contained 
sixty-six battering guns and mortars, each fur- 
nished with seven hundred rounds. There were 
also thirty-six field-pieces, two thousand artillery- 
men to serve the guns, seven hundred sappers and 
miners, fourteen hundred cavalry, and nearly fif- 
teen thousand infantry. The head-quarters were 
fixed at the village of Constanti, a strong covering 
position, the depot at Reus was secured by for- 
tified convents, and the works at Mora were de- 
fended by several battalions. Other troops, placed 
at Falcet, guarded the communications, which were 
farther secured by the escorts belonging to the 
convoys ; and the French had cut off the water of 
the aqueducts from the Olivo, but this water, whose 
source was ten or twelve miles off, was also neces- 
sary to the besiegers on that sterile land, and was 


book again cut off by the Somatenes, which obliged 
the French to guard its whole course during the 


May.' sie S e - 

Meanwhile Campo Verde after his defeat at Figu- 
eras had sent Sarsfield and Eroles to their former 
posts near Vails, Momblanch, and Igualada, and em- 
barking at Mattaro himself, with four thousand men, 
came on the 10th to Taragona, where the sudden 
appearance of the French had produced great con- 
Appendix, sternation. Yet when Campo Verde arrived with 

No. II. L 

scction i. this reinforcement, and when colonel Green, the 
English military agent, arrived on the 15th from 
Cadiz, in the Merope, bringing with him fifty 
thousand dollars and two transports laden with arms 
and stores, Spanish apathy again prevailed, and the 
necessary measures of defence were neglected. 
Beyond the walls, however, the French post at 
Momblanch was attacked by two thousand Migue- 
lettes, and the Somatenes assembled in the vicinity 
of Reus. 

Suchet detached general Frere with four bat- 
talions to relieve the former place, where the 
attack had failed; the commandant of Reus also 
dispersed the Somatenes, and meanwhile Ha- 
rispe pushed his patroles over the Gaya as far as 
Torre de Barra, where he found some wounded 
Spaniards. These men were within the protection 
of a convention, made by St. Cyr with Reding, by 
which the wounded men of both armies were to be 
left in the civil hospitals of the different towns, 
and mutually taken care of, without being made 
prisoners ; and it is remarkable that this compact 
was scrupulously executed on both sides, while 
beyond those hospitals the utmost ferocity and a 
total disregard of civilized usages prevailed. 


Sarsfleld's arrival near Momblanch threatened chap. 


the communications between Reus and Mora, and 
at the same time a Valencian column, acting in 
concert with captain Adam of the Invincible, at- 
tacked the posts of Rapita and Amposta : the 
former was abandoned by the garrison, and the 
latter was surrounded by the Valencians, but a 
regiment sent from Tortoza, after disengaging Am- 
posta, defeated the Valencians near Rapita ; never- 
theless Suchet, unwilling to lessen his already too 
small force, did not restore the latter post. 


The French general having resolved to attack 
the lower town, commenced his operations by con- 
structing a fort and batteries, on the right of the 
Francoli, near the sea-shore, with a view to keep 
the English ships of war and the gun-boats at a 
distance from his projected trenches. These works 
commenced in the night of the 7th, were success- 
fully continued towards the mouth of the river 
under the fire of the vessels ; a trench, lined with 
musqueteers, was also carried from the left along 
the bank of the river to the bridge, but the Spaniards 
continually harassed the investing troops both from 
within and from without, and made some attempts 
against the camp ; wherefore the brigade of general 
Salme, which was close to the Olivo, was obliged 
to entrench, and yet lost fifty or sixty men daily 
by the enemy's skirmishers. 

On the night of the 13th, during a tempest, the 
French stormed two external entrenchments near 
the Olivo, and then turned them against the be- 



book sieged ; the next morning a vigorous attempt to 
^_ retake them was repulsed with a loss of one hun- 

i8ii. dred men, and on the Francoli side, a sally sup- 

, ported by the shipping failed in consequence of 

No. ii. ' the cowardice of some Spanish officers. On the 

Sect. 1. li-ii 

same day, besides this attack on the side of the 
Francoli, the garrison came out from the Barcelona 
gate, and six hundred Somatenes from the Upper 
Gaya fell on the patroles of the Italian division, 
whereupon Palombini scoured the country on the 
15th as far as Arbos. 

The 18th a powerful sortie from the lower town 
was made by Gonzalez, who passed the bridge, 
and, aided by a fire from the place, from the Olivo, 
and from the fleet, pressed Habert's division hard ; 
Suchet however came down with his reserve, pushed 
between the river and the Olivo, and menaced the 
Spanish line of retreat, which obliged Gonzalez to 
retire with loss. On the 20th three other sallies 
were made from the Olivo, and from the upper 
town, on the Barcelona side, but they were all in 
like manner repulsed ; and that day Sarsfield took 
post with twelve hundred men on a high and rugged 
place near Alcover, thus menacing the depot at 
Reus. The French general therefore detached two 
battalions of infantry and some cavalry, under 
general Broussard, to dislodge him, which was 
effected with the loss of a hundred French ; but 
three days later he appeared before Momblanch, 
and was only driven away by the united brigades 
of Frere and Palombini, who marched against him. 
Divers attempts were also made upon the line of 
Falcet, especially at Grattallopes, where the Spanish 
colonel,Villamil, having attacked Morozinski, a Pole, 
the latter defended himself successfully, and with 


a bravery that has always distinguished the people chap. 
of that heroic nation ; a nation whose glory springs 


like an ignis fatuus from the corruption of European M 
honour ! 

These repeated attacks having warned Suchet 
how difficult it would be to maintain, with his 
weak army, so great an extent of communication, 
he abandoned his post at Momblanch, and con- 
tented himself with preserving the lines of Falcet 
and of Felippe de Balaguer ; a measure the more 
necessary, that the garrison of Taragona was now 
greatly augmented ; for on the 16th, the Blake had 
sailed for Valencia to seek reinforcements, and 
Carlos O'Donnel, who had succeeded Bassecour, 
gave him above two thousand infantry and two 
hundred cannoneers, who were safely landed at 
Taragona on the 22d, two thousand stand of arms 
being, in return, delivered by captain Codrington 
to O'Donnel, to equip fresh levies. Above twelve 
thousand men were thus collected in the fortress, 
but all the richest citizens had removed with their 
families and effects to Villa Nueva de Sitjes, and the 
people were dispirited. 

Suchet broke ground before the Olivo in the 
night of the 21st, and carried on his approaches 
from both ends of the Spanish entrenchments 
which he had seized on the night of the 13th. 
His engineers wished to reach a round hill, close to 
the works, on which they proposed to plant their 
first breaching battery, and they crowned it on the 
22d, but with much loss, being obliged to carry 
the earth for the work, up the hill in baskets, and 
they were continually interrupted by sallies. Three 
counter-batteries were, however, completed and 
armed on the 27th with thirteen pieces, of which 



book six threw shells ; but to effect this, the soldiers 


dragged the artillery over the rocks, under a heavy 

May fire of grape, and the garrison making a vigorous 
sally, killed general Salme, when he opposed them 
with the reserves. The moment was dangerous to 
the French, but they were finally victorious, and the 
fire of the batteries having opened the same morning, 
was sustained until the evening of the 29th, when 
a breach being formed, the assault was ordered. 


Upon the success of this attack, Suchet thought, 
and with reason, that his chance of taking the town 
would depend, seeing that his army was too feeble 
to bear any serious check. Wherefore, having 
formed his columns of assault, he, personally en- 
couraged them, and at the same time directed the 
troops along the whole line of investment to advance 
simultaneously, and menace every part of the town. 
The night was dark, and the Spaniards were un- 
expectant of an attack, because none of their guns 
had yet been silenced ; but the French, full of 
hope and resolution, were watching for the signal. 
When that was given, the troops on the Francoli, 
and those on the Barcelona side, made a sudden 
discharge of musketry, beat all their drums, and 
with loud shouts approached the town at those 
opposite quarters ; the rampart of the place was 
instantly covered with fire from within and from 
without ; the ships in the offing threw up rockets, 
and amidst the noise of four hundred guns the 
storming columns rushed upon the Olivo. 

The principal force made for the breach ; but a 


second column, turning the fort, got between it and chap. 


the town, at the moment when fifteen hundred men, 
sent to relieve the old garrison, were entering the J^*' 
gates. Some of the French instantly fell on their 
rear, which hurrying forward, gave an opportu- Suchct. 
nity to the assailants to penetrate with them before Vacani. 
the gates could be closed, and thirty sappers with 
hatchets having followed closely, endeavoured to 
break the door, while Papignay, their officer, at- 
tempted to climb over the wall ; the Spaniards killed 
him and most of the sappers, but the other troops, 
planted their ladders to the right and left, and 
cutting through the pointed stakes above, entered 
the place and opened the gate. 

At the main attack the French boldly assailed 
the narrow breach, but the ditch was fifteen feet 
deep, the Spaniards firm, and the fire heavy, and 
they were giving way, when the historian, Va- 
cani, followed by some of his countrymen, (it is a 
strange error to think the Italians have not a brave 
spirit !) cut down the paling which blocked the 
subterranean passage of the aqueduct, and thus 
got into the ditch and afterwards into the fort. 
Then the Spaniards were driven from the ramparts 
on all sides, back to the little works of refuge, 
before noticed, as being at each end of the Olivo, 
from whence they fired both musketry and guns ; 
but the French and Italian reserves, followed by 
Harispe with a third column now entered the place, 
and with a terrible slaughter ended the contest. 
Twelve hundred men perished, some escaped, a 
thousand were taken, and amongst them their 
commander who had received ten wounds. 

In the morning three thousand Spaniards came 
out of Taragona, yet retired without attacking, and 


book Suchet demanded a suspension of arms to dispose of 
the dead : this was however treated with scorn and 

June. tne nea P s were burned, for the sterile rocks afforded 
no earth to bury them. Campo Verde now gave 
general Senens de Contreras the command of Tara- 
gona, and went himself to the field- army, which was 
about ten thousand strong, including some new 
levies made by the junta of Catalonia. 

Suchet's investment having been precipitated by 
the fall of Figueras his stores were not all collected 
until the 1st of June, when trenches were opened 
to embrace the whole of the lower town including 
the fort of Francoli and its chain of connecting 
works running along the sea-shore, that is to say, 
1°. The Nun's bastion and a half-moon called the 
King's, which formed, on the Spanish right, a sort 
of hornwork to the royal fort or citadel. 2°. The 
bastion of San Carlos and a half-moon called the 
Prince's, which stood on the left, in the retiring 
angle where the sea-line joined the body of the 
place, and served as a counter-guard to the bastion 
of San Carlos. 3°. The sea-line itself and the 
Francoli fort. 

The 2d of June the besieged made a fruitless 
sally, and in the night of the 3d some advanced 
Spanish entrenchments were destroyed by the 
French. Sarsfield then entered Taragona with a 
detachment, and took the command of what was 
called the Port, which included the Mole, the works 
leading to the Francoli, and the suburb or lower 
town, Contreras still remaining governor of all, 
although reluctantly, for he expected no success. 

In the night of the 4th the approaches were car- 
ried forward by the sap, the second parallel was 
commenced, and on the 6th the besiegers were 


within twenty yards of the Francoli fort, which had chap 

a wet ditch and was of regular construction. The 1_ _ 

breaching batteries which had been armed as the J^* 
trenches proceeded, opened their fire against it 
on the 7th. The fresh masonry crumbled away 
rapidly, and at ten o'clock that night, the fort being 
entirely destroyed, three hundred chosen men in 
three columns, one of which forded the Francoli 
river, attacked the ruins, and the defenders retired 
fighting, towards the half-moon of the Prince. The 
assailants then made a disorderly attempt to enter 
with them, but were quickly repulsed with a loss of 
fifty men, yet the lodgement was under a heavy fire 
secured; and the next night a battery of six pieces 
was constructed there, with a view to silence the 
guns of the Mole, which together with that of the 
place, endeavoured to overwhelm the small space 
thus occupied, with shot. 

In the nights of the 8th and 9th under terrible 
discharges from both the upper and lower town, the 
second parallel was prolonged to fort Francoli on 
the right, and on the left, carried to within seventy 
yards of the Nun's bastion. 

The 11th Sarsfield making a sally, killed some 
men, and retarded the works ; but before the 
15th, three approaches by the sap were conducted 
against the Nun's bastion, where the besiegers 
crowned the glacis, and against the half-moon of 
the King and Prince. Fresh batteries were also 
constructed, whose fire embraced the whole front 
from the Prince to the Nun's bastion. 

On the morning of the 16th fifty-four guns 
opened from the French batteries, and the Spaniards 
placing sand-bags along the parapets endeavoured 

vol. rv. G 


book by musketry to kill the gunners, who were much 


exposed, while all the cannon of the place which 
\ 811 - could be directed upon the trenches were em- 

June. r 

ployed to crush the batteries. Towards evening 
this fire had in a great degree mastered that of 
the besiegers, destroyed the centre of their second 
parallel, and silenced a battery on their right; but 
the loss and damage was great on both sides, for 
two consumption magazines exploded in the town 
and the Nun's bastion was breached. The engi- 
neers also observed that the ditch of the Prince 
was not carried round to the sea, and hence Suchet 
who feared a continuation of this murderous artil- 
lery battle, resolved to storm that point at once, 
hoping to enter by the defect in the ditch. 

At nine o'clock two columns, supported by a 
reserve, issued from the trenches, and after a short 
resistance entered the work both by the gap of the 
ditch, and by escalade ; the garrison fought well, 
and were put to the sword, a few only escaping 
along the quay, these were pursued by a party 
of the French, who passing a ditch, and drawbridge 
which cut off the. road from the bastion of San 
Carlos, endeavoured to maintain themselves there, 
but being unsupported were mostly destroyed. The 
lodgement thus made was immediately secured and 
included in the trenches. 

During the night of the 17th the old batteries 
were repaired and the construction of a new one, to 
breach the bastion of San Carlos, was begun upon 
the half-moon of the Prince ; the saps and other 
approaches were also pushed forward, a lodgement 
was effected in the covered way of the Nun's bas- 
tion, and the third parallel was commenced ; but 


on the right of the trenches, in advance of the chap. 

Prince, the workmen came upon water which ! 

obliged them to desist at that point. j^j* 

The 18th the third parallel was completed and 
the descent of the ditch at the Nun's bastion was 
commenced by an under-ground gallery; yet the 
fire from the upper town plunged into the trenches, 
and thirty-seven shells thrown very exactly into the 
lodgement on the counterscarp, obliged the be- 
siegers to relinquish their operations there during 
the day. At this time also the gun-boats which 
hitherto had been of little service in the defence, 
were put under the direction of the British navy, 
and worked with more effect; yet it does not appear 
that the enemy ever suffered much injury from the 
vessels of war, beyond the interruption sometimes 
given to their convoys on the Col de Balaguer 

During the nights of the 19th and 20th all the 
French works were advanced, and the morning of 
the 21st the new battery, in the Prince, being 
ready, opened its fire against San Carlos, and was 
followed by all the other batteries. The explosion 
of an expense magazine silenced the Prince's battery 
after a few rounds, the damage was however re- 
paired, and at four o'clock in the evening nearly all 
the Spanish guns being overcome and the breaches 
enlarged, Suchet resolved to storm the lower town. 
But previous to describing this terrible event, it 
is necessary to notice the proceedings within and 
without the place, that a just idea of the actual 
state of affairs on both sides may be formed. 

Macdonald had continued the blockade of Figueras 
with unceasing vigilance ; and as the best of the 
Miguel ettes were shut up there, and as the defeat 



rook of Campo Verde, on the 3d of May, had spread 


consternation throughout the province, the opera- 
June tions to relieve it were confined to such exertions 
as Rovira, Manso, and other chiefs could call forth. 
In like manner Francisco Milans was left in the 
Hostalrich district, and by his local popularity 
amongst the people of the coast between Palamos 
and Barcelona, was enabled to keep up an irregular 
force ; but his object was to be made captain- 
general of the province, and his desire of popu- 
larity, or some other motive, led him to favour the 
towns of his district at the expense of the general 
cause. Mattaro and Villa Nueva de Sitjes trafficked 
in corn with Barcelona, and one of their secret 
convoys was detected at a later period passing the 
Appendix/ outposts with Milans' written authority. He put 

No. II. r ill -ii 

Section 4. the men to death who permitted the convoy to pass, 
but he did not succeed in removing the suspicion 
of corruption from himself. This traffic was very 
advantageous for the French, and Maurice Mathieu 
being either unwilling to disturb it, or that having 
recently suffered in a skirmish at Mattaro, he feared 
to risk his troops, made no movement to aid the 
siege of Taragona, which it would appear, he 
might have done by taking possession of Villa 
Nueva de Sitjes. 

Such was the state of Eastern Catalonia, and in 
the western parts, the infantry of Sarsfield, and of 
Eroles, who had come down to the vicinity of Vails, 
and the cavalry under Caro, which was a thousand 
strong, formed, with the new levies ordered by the 
junta, an army of seven or eight thousand men. 
This force might have done much, if Campo Verde, 
a man of weak character, and led by others, had not 
continually changed his plans. At the opening of 


the siege, Sarsfield had acted, as we have seen, with chap. 

some success on the side of Momblanch and Reus ; ! — 

but when he was sent into the lower town, the active J^' 
army being reduced to Eroles' division, the cavalry 
could do no more than supply small detachments, 
to watch the different French convoys and posts. 
Campo Verde, however, fixed his quarters at Igua- 
lada, sent detachments to the Gaya and Villa Franca, 
and holding Villa Nueva de Sitjes as his post of 
communication with the fleet, demanded assistance 
from Murcia and Valencia, and formed a general 
plan for the succour of the place. But in Taragona 
his proceedings were viewed with dislike, and dis- 
cord and negligence were rendering the courage of 
the garrison of no avail. 

We have seen that captain Codrington landed 
two thousand five hundred Valencians on the 22d 
of May ; besides that reinforcement, vessels loaded 
with powder and other stores, and additional 
mortars for the batteries, came from Carthagena 
and from Cadiz in the beginning of June. From 
Murcia also came reinforcements ; but such was 
the perversity of some authorities and the want 
of arrangement in all, that the arms of these men 
were taken away from them before they sailed; and 
yet in Taragona there were already two thousand 
men without arms, a folly attributed by some to Appendix, 
the Spanish authorities of Murcia, by others to section 1. 
colonel Roche, the English military agent. Nor 
did the confusion end here ; for captain Codring- 
ton, when he sailed from Taragona to Peniscola 
in the latter end of May, supplied 0\Donnel with 
arms for two thousand recruits, who were to replace 
the Valencians then embarked ; and a few days 
afterwards he delivered so many more at the city 


nooic of Valencia, that Villa Campa and the Empecinado, 
whose troops, after their dispersion in April by 

l 811 - Abbe and Paris, had remained inactive, were enabled 


Section 1. 

Report of 


again to take the field. Thus it appears that, while 

Appendix, ° . 1 r ^T 1 

No. ii. men were sent without arms trom Valencia to 
Taragona, arms were being conveyed from the 
latter place to Valencia. 

The troops in Taragona had, by these different 
reinforcements, been augmented to near seventeen 
thousand men ; however that number was never avail- 
able at one time, for the Murcians were sent to Mont- 
serrat to be armed, and the losses during the opera- 
tions, including those caused by sickness, had re- 
duced the garrison at this period to less than twelve 
thousand. Several colonels of regiments, and many 
other officers, feigning sickness, or with open coward- 
ice running away, had quitted the town, leaving 
their battalions to be commanded by captains ; the 
general of artillery was incapable, and Contreras 
himself, unknown to the inhabitants, unacquainted 
with the place or its resources, was vacillating and 
deceitful to those serving under him. He was very 
unwilling to undertake the defence, and he was at 
variance with Campo Verde outside, and jealous of 
Sarsfield inside. In the fleet also some disagree- 
ment occurred between captain Codrington and 
captain Bullen, and the commanders of the Diana 
and Prueba Spanish ships of war were accused of 
gross misconduct. 

Carlos O'Donnel and his brother the Conde 
de Abispal, at the desire of captain Codrington, 
had permitted Miranda to embark with four thou- 
sand of the best Valencian troops for Taragona, 
there to join in a grand sally ; but they exacted from 
Codrington a pledge to bring those who survived 


back, for they would not suffer this their second chap. 

aid in men to be shut up in the place when the 
object was effected. These troops landed the 12th j® 1 ^' 
at Taragona, yet the next day, at Campo Verde's 
order, Miranda, instead of making a sally as had 
been projected, carried them off by sea to Villa 
Nueva de Sitjes, and from thence marched to meet 
a detachment of horse coming from Villa Franca ; 
and on the 15th two squadrons of cavalry issuing 
from Taragona by the Barcelona gate, passed the 
French line of investment, without difficulty, and 
also joined Miranda who then marched to unite 
with Campo Verde at Igualada. 

This movement was in pursuance of a grand 
plan to succour the place; for the junta of 
Catalonia, having quitted Taragona after the 
fall of the Olivo, repaired with the archives to 
Montserrat, and as usual made their clamours for 
succour ring throughout the peninsula : they had 
received promises of cooperation from O'Donnel, 
from Villa Campa, and from the partizans, and 
Campo Verde proposed, that the English ships of 
war should keep between the Col de Balaguer and 
Taragona, to cannonade the French convoys on 
that route ; that a detachment should take post at 
Ordal to watch the garrison of Barcelona, and that 
he with the remainder of his forces, which in- 
cluding Miranda's division amounted to ten thou- 
sand infantry and a thousand cavalry, should take 
some commanding position near Reus. In this 
situation he designed to send a detachment towards 
San Filippe de Balaguer to communicate with the 
fleet, and, avoiding any serious action, to operate 
by small corps against the French line of supply, 
and thus oblige them to raise the siege, or if they 


book came out of their lines to fight them in strong 

1— positions. 

June Contreras treated this plan with contempt. He 
said it would cause the loss both of the place and 
the army ; that the French would not raise the siege 
except for a general battle, and that within their 
lines the best mode of fighting them would be in 
concert with the garrison ; wherefore he desired 
the general-in-chief to attack them in conjunction 
with himself, and the junta, who were at variance 
with Campo Verde, backed this proposal. 

Neither of these plans, however, appear sound ; 
for though it is certain, if the generals could have 
depended upon their troops, such was the reduced 
state of Suchet's force, and so extensive was his 
-line of investment, that it would have been easy to 
break through ; yet, unless the French were put 
entirely to the route, which was unlikely, no great 
advantage would have followed, because the com- 
munication was already open by sea. On the other 
hand Campo Verde's plan was only proposed on the 
13th, and would have been too slow for the critical 
nature of the case. It would have been more in 
accord with that great maxim of war, which pre- 
scribes the attack of an enemy s weakest point with 
the greatest possible numbers, to have marched with 
his whole force upon Mora, or upon Reus, to beat 
the troops there, and destroy the depots ; and then 
seizing some strong posts on the hills close to the 
besieger's lines to have entrenched it and operated 
daily and hourly against their rear. If Campo 
Verde had destroyed either of these depots the 
siege must have been raised ; and if he was unable 
to beat two or three thousand infantry at those 
places, he could not hope, even with the assistance 


of the garrison, to destroy sixteen thousand of all chap. 
arms in the entrenchments before Taragona. Suchet ! — 

did not fear a battle on the Francoli river ; but so j^* 
tender was he of the depots, that when Campo 
Verde sent an officer to raise the Somatenes about 
Mora, he called Abbe with three thousand infantry 
from Teruel, and that general who was active and 
experienced in the guerilla warfare, soon dispersed 
the Spanish levies, and took their chief with many 
others prisoners, after which he joined the besieging 

Suchet required this reinforcement. He had lost 
a general, two hundred inferior officers, and above 
two thousand five hundred men during the siege, 
and had not more than twelve thousand infantry 
fit for duty ; but colonel Villamil, a partizan of 
Campo Verde's, taking advantage of Abbe's ab- 
sence, marched with a thousand men to attack 
Mora, and being beaten on the 16th was succeeded 
by Eroles, who came with his whole division to 
Falcet on the 20th, and captured a convoy of 
loaded mules, driving back the escort with some 
loss to Mora. The design was to tempt Suchet to 
send a strong detachment in pursuit of Eroles, in 
which case the latter was by a rapid march to re- 
join Campo Verde near Alcover, when the whole 
army was to attack Suchet thus weakened. How- 
ever the French general would not turn from his 
principal object, and his magazines at Reus were 
still so full that the loss of the convoy did not 
seriously affect him. 

Such was the situation of affairs on the 21st of 
June, when the order to assault the lower town was 
given to an army, small in number, but full of 
vigour, and confident of success ; while, in the 



book place there was confusion, folly, and cowardice. 
Contreras indeed acted a shameful part ; for during 

June. ca ptain Codrington's absence, Sarsfi eld had concerted 
with the navy, that in the case of the lower town 
being stormed, the ships should come to the mole 
and the garrison would retire there, rather than to 
the upper town ; meanwhile Campo Verde recalled 
him to the active army, intending that general Ve- 
lasco should replace him ; but at three o'clock on the 
21st, the breaches being then open, and the assault 
momentarily expected, Contreras commanded Sars- 
field instantly to embark, falsely averring that such 
was the peremptory order of Campo Verde. Sars- 
field remonstrated in vain, and a boat from the 
Appendix, Cambrian frigate carried him and his personal staff 
section i. anc [ hig effects on board that vessel ; thus the com- 
mand of the troops was left to an inefficient subor- 
dinate officer, the assault took place at that mo- 
ment, and when Velasco arrived, he found only the 
dead bodies of those he was to have commanded. 
Contreras then assured captain Codrington and 
the junta, that Sarsfield had acted without his 
consent, and had in fact betrayed his post ! 


This calamitous event happened in the evening 
Uogniat. of the 21st. Two breaches had been made in the 
vacani. bastions, and one in the fort Royal ; they were not 
wide, and a few Spanish guns still answered the 
French fire; nevertheless the assault was ordered, 
codling- anc i as some suppose, because Suchet had secret 

tons Pa- L l 

pcrs, mss. intelligence of Sarsfield's removal, and the con- 
sequent confusion in the garrison. 


on's Pa- 



Fifteen hundred grenadiers, destined for the chap. 

attack, were assembled under Palombini in the 

trenches; a second column was formed to support 
the storming troops, and to repel any sally from the 
upper town ; and while the arrangements were in 
progress, the French guns thundered incessantly, 
and the shouts of the infantry, impatient for the 
signal, were heard between the salvos, redoubling 
as the shattered walls gave way. At last Harispe's 
division began to menace the ramparts on the 
side of Barcelona, to distract the attention of the 
Spaniards, and then Suchet exhorting the soldiers 
to act vigorously, gave the signal and let them 
loose while it was still day. In an instant the 
breaches were crowned, and the assailants swarmed 
on the bastions, the ramparts, and the fort Royal ; 
the Spaniards, without a leader, were thrown into 
confusion, and falling in heaps broke and fled 
towards the port, towards the mole, and to- 
wards the upper town, and a reserve stationed 
under the walls of the latter was overthrown with 
the same shock. Then some of the fugitives, 
running towards the mole, were saved by the 
English launches, others escaped into the upper 
town, a few were made prisoners, and the rest were 

At eight o'clock the lower town was in the pos- 
session of the enemy. Fifteen hundred bodies, 
many of whom were inhabitants, lay stretched upon 
the place, and the mercantile magazines of the port 
being set on fire, the flames finished what the 
sword had begun. When the carnage ceased, the 
troops were rallied, working parties were set to 
labour; and ere the confusion in the upper town 
had subsided, the besiegers were again hidden in 


hook their trenches and burrowing forward to the walls 


of the upper town. 

I 811, The front before them consisted of four bastions 


with curtains, but without a ditch. The bastion of 
St. Paul was opposite their left, that of St. John 
opposite their centre, that of Jesus opposite their 
right; but the bastion of Cervantes, which covered 
the principal landing place of the Milagro, although 
on the same front of defence, was somewhat retired 
and not included within the attack. A hollow 
piece of ground, serving as a trench, had enabled 
the French to establish their left in a side bas- 
tion of the wall, connecting the upper with the 
lower town ; and their right was strongly protected 
by some houses lining the road, for between the 
two parts of the city there were four hundred yards 
of open garden-ground interspersed with single 
houses. A battery was constructed to play upon the 
landing places of the Milagro, two mortars which 
were on the hill of the fort Loretto, concurred in 
this object, and the light troops were pushed close 
up to the wall ; but at daylight the ships of war 
passed the port delivering their broadsides in suc- 
cession, Contreras then showed the heads of columns 
as if for a sally, and the French skirmishers retired ; 
whereupon the Spanish general, contented with 
having thus cleared his front, re-entered the place. 
The men saved from the mole, by the ships, were 
now relanded in the upper town, and the second 
reinforcement from Murcia arrived, but being like 
the first detachment without arms only added to the 
confusion and difficulties of the governor. Never- 
theless as the loss of the French in the storming 
was about six hundred, and that of the Spaniards 
not more than two thousand, the besieged had 


still nine thousand fighting, men ; a number nearly chap. 
equal to the whole infantry of Suchefs army ; ' 
and hence Contreras, far from quailing beneath j^n. 
the blow, would not even receive a flag of truce 
by which the French general offered honourable 

Suchet's position was becoming more embarrassing 
every moment ; he had now delivered four assaults, 
his force was diminished nearly one-fifth of its ori- 
ginal number, and the men's strength was spent 
with labouring on his prodigious works : his line of 
communication with Lerida was quite intercepted 
and that with Mora interrupted, and he had lost a 
large convoy of provisions together with the mules 
that carried it. The resolution of the besieged 
seemed in no manner abated, and their commu- 
nication with the sea, although partially under 
the French fire, was still free ; the sea itself was 
covered with ships of war, overwhelming reinforce- 
ments might arrive at any moment, and Campo 
Verde with ten thousand men was daily menacing 
his rear. The Valencian army, Villa Campa, the 
Empecinado, Duran who had defeated a French 
detachment near Mirando del Ebro, Mina who had 
just then taken the convoy with Massena's baggage 
at the Puerto de Arlaban, in fine all the Partidas of 
the mountains of Albaracin, Moncayo, and Navarre, 
were in motion, and menacing his position in Ara- 
gon. This rendered it dangerous for him to call to 
his aid any more troops from the right of the Ebro, 
and yet a single check might introduce despondency 
amongst the soldiers of the siege, composed as they 
were of different nations, and some but lately come 
under his command ; indeed their labours and dan- 
gers were so incessant and wearing, that it is no 



book small proof of the French general's talent, and the 

L_ men's spirit, that the confidence of both was still 


On the 24th the crisis seemed at hand, intelli- 
gence arrived in the French camp, that the Spanish 
army was coming down the Gay a river to fight, 
at the same time the garrison got under arms, and 
an active interchange of signals took place between 
the town and the fleet. Suchet immediately placed 
a reserve to sustain the guards of his trenches, and 
marched with a part of his army to meet Campo 
Verde. That general, pressed by the remonstrances 
of Contreras and the junta, had at last relinquished 
his own plan, recalled Eroles, and united his army 
at Momblanch on the 22nd, and then moving by 
Villardoiia, had descended the hills between the 
Gaya and the Francoli ; he was now marching in 
two columns to deliver battle, having directed Con- 
treras to make a sally at the same moment. But 
Miranda, who commanded his right wing, found, 
or pretended to find, some obstacles and halted, 
whereupon Campo Verde instantly relinquished the 
attack, and marched to Vendril before the French 
general could reach him. 

The 25th he again promised Contreras to make 
a decisive attack, and for that purpose desired that 
three thousand men of the garrison should be sent to 
Vendril, and the remainder be held ready to cut their 
way through the enemy's lines during the action. 
He likewise assured him that four thousand English 
were coming by sea to aid in this project, and it is 
probable some great effort was really intended, for 
the breaching batteries had not yet opened their 
fire, and the wall of the place was consequently 
untouched ; ten thousand infantry and a thousand 


cavalry under Campo Verde were within a few chap. 

miles of the French camp on the Barcelona side ; ! — 

eight thousand men accustomed to fire were still June " 
under arms within the walls ; and on the 26th 
colonel Skerrett appeared in the roadstead, not with 
four thousand, but with twelve hundred British 
soldiers, sent from Cadiz and from Gibraltar to 
succour Taragona. 

The arrival of this force, the increase of shipping 
in the roadstead, and the promises of Campo Verde, 
raised the spirits of the garrison from the depression 
occasioned by the disappointment of the 27th ; and 
they were still more elated when in the evening 
colonel Skerrett and his staff, accompanied by 
general Doyle, captain Codrington, and other officers 
of the navy, disembarked, and proceeded to examine 
the means of defence. But they were struck with 
consternation when they heard that the British Contrcras' 
commander, because his engineers affirmed that the Appendix, 
wall would give way after a few salvos from the Section i. 
breaching batteries, had resolved to keep his troops 
on board the transports, idle spectators of the gar- 
rison's efforts, to defend the important place which 
he had been sent to succour. 

Contreras, thus disappointed on all sides, and 
without dependence on Campo Verde, resolved, if 
the French delayed the storm until the 29th, to 
make way by a sally on the Barcelona road, and so 
join the army in the field ; meanwhile to stand the 
assault if fortune so willed it. And he had good 
reason for his resolution, for the ground in front 
of the walls was high and narrow ; and although 
there was neither ditch nor covered way, a thick 
hedge of aloe trees, no small obstacle to troops, 
grew at the foot of the rampart, which was also cut 


book off from the town, and from the side works, by an in- 


ternal ditch and retrenchment. Behind the rampart 
I 811, the houses of the o^reat street called the Rambla, 

June. o ' 

were prepared for defence, furnishing a second line 
of resistance ; and although the cuts on the flanks 
hindered the making of sallies in force, which at 
such a period was a good mode of defence, the 
reduced state of the French army gave reason to 
believe that eight thousand brave men could resist 
it effectually. 

The 28th a general plan for breaking out on the 
Barcelona side, the cooperation of the fleet, and a 
combined attack of the Spanish army, was arranged ; 
and Eroles embarked for the purpose of re-landing 
at Taragona, to take the leading of the troops des- 
tined to sally forth on the 29th. The French general 
had however completed his batteries on the night of 
the 27th, and in the morning of the 28th they opened 
with a crashing effect. One magazine blew up in 
the bastion of Cervantes ; all the guns in that of 
San Paulo were dismounted ; the wall fell away in 
huge fragments before the stroke of the batteries, 
and from the Olivo, and from all the old French 
trenches, the guns and mortars showered bullets 
and shells into the place. This fire was returned 
from many Spanish pieces, still in good condition, 
and the shoulders of the French batteries were 
beaten down ; yet their gunners, eager for the last 
act of the siege, stood to their work uncovered, 
the musketry rattled round the ramparts, the men 
on both sides crowded to the front, and while 
opprobrious words and mutual defiance passed be- 
tween them, the generals, almost within hearing 
of each other, exhorted the soldiers to fight with 
the vigour that the crisis demanded. 




At five o'clock in the evening the French fire 
suddenly ceased, and fifteen hundred men led by Suchet. 
general Habert passing out from the parallel, went Rogniat. 
at full speed up against the breach ; twelve hun- vacani. 
dred under general Ficatier followed in support, codring. 
general Montmarie led a brigade round the left, p ™ s !mss. 
to the bastion of Rosario, with a view to break the 
gates there during the assault, and thus penetrating, 
to turn the interior defence of the Rambla. Harispe 
took post on the Barcelona road, to cut off the 
retreat of the garrison. 

The columns of attack had to pass over an open 
space of more than a hundred yards before they 
could reach the foot of the breach ; and when within 
twenty yards of it, the hedge of aloes obliged them 
to turn to the right, and left, under a terrible fire 
of musketry and of grape, which the Spaniards, 
who were crowding on the breach with apparent 
desperation, poured unceasingly upon them. The 
destruction was great, the head of the French 
column got into confusion, gave back, and was be- 
ginning to fly, when the reserves rushed up, and a 
great many officers coming forward in a body, 
renewed the attack. At that moment one Bian- 
chini, an Italian soldier, who had obtained leave to 
join the column as a volunteer, and whose white 
clothes, amidst the blue uniforms of the French, 
gave him a supernatural appearance, went forth 
alone from the ranks, and gliding silently and 
sternly up the breach, notwithstanding many wounds 
reached the top, and there fell dead. Then the 
multitude bounded forward with a shout, the first 

VOL. iv. h 


book line of the Spaniards fled, and the ramparts were 
darkened by the following masses of the French. 

June ' Meanwhile Montmarie's sappers cut away the 
palisades at Rosario, and his light troops finding a 
rope hanging from the wall, mounted by it, at the 
moment when the assailants at the breach broke 
the Spanish reserves with one shock, and poured 
into the town like a devastating torrent. At the 
Rambla a momentary stand was indeed made, but 
the impulse of victory was too strong to be longer 
resisted, and a dreadful scene of slaughter and 
violence ensued. Citizens and soldiers, maddened 
with fear, rushed out in crowds by the Barcelona 
gate, while others, throwing themselves over the 
ramparts, made for the landing-places within the 
Milagro ; but that way also had been intercepted 
by general Rogniat with his sappers, and then num- 
bers throwing themselves down the steep rocks 
were dashed to pieces, while they who gained the 
shore were still exposed to the sword of the enemy. 
Those that went out by the Barcelona gate were 
met by Harispe's men, and some being killed, the 
rest, three thousand in number, were made prisoners. 
But within the town all was horror ; fire had been 
set to many houses, Gonzales, fighting manfully, 
was killed, Contreras, wounded with the stroke of 
a bayonet, was only saved by a French officer ; 
and though the hospitals were respected by the 
soldiers, in every other part their fury was un- 
bounded. When the assault first commenced, the 
ship-launches had come close into the Milagro, 
and now saved some of the fugitives, but their guns 
swept the open space beyond, killing friends and 
enemies, as, mixed together, they rushed to the 
shore ; and the French dragoons, passing through 



the flaming streets at a trot, rode upon the fugitives, chap. 
sabring those who had outstripped the infantry. ' 
In every quarter there was great rage and cruelty, 
and although most of the women and children had, 
during the siege, been removed from Taragona by 
the English shipping, and that the richest citizens 
had all gone to Sitjes, this assault was memorable 
as a day of blood. Only seven or eight hundred 
miserable creatures, principally soldiers, escaped on 
board the vessels ; nine thousand, including the 
sick and wounded, were made prisoners; more than 
five thousand persons were slain, and a great part 
of the city was reduced to ashes. 

H 2 



book Suchet had lost in killed and wounded during 

the siege between four and five thousand men, yet 
June! scarcely had the necessary orders to efface the 
trenches, secure the prisoners, and establish order 
in the ruined city been given, than the French 
general was again in movement to disperse Campo 
Verde's force. In the night of the 29th Frere's 
division marched upon Villa Franca, Harispe's upon 
Villa Nueva, being followed by Suchet himself with 
Abbe's brigade and the heavy cavalry. Campo 
Verde then abandoned Vendril, and Harispe's co- 
lumn, although cannonaded by the English squa- 
dron, reached Villa Nueva, where a great multitude, 
military and others, were striving to embark in the 
vessels off the port. The light cavalry sabred some 
and made fifteen hundred prisoners, including the 
wounded men who had been carried there from 
Taragona during the siege ; and Frere's column in 
a like manner dispersed the Spanish rear-guard at 
Vendril and Villa Franca. Campo Verde then fled 
with the main body to Igualada, and Suchet pushed 
on with the reserve to Barcelona, where he arranged 
with Maurice Mathieu a plan to prevent the Va- 
lencian division from re-embarking, or marching to 
aid the blockade of Figueras. 

Distrust, confusion, and discord now prevailed 
amongst the Catalans. The people were enraged 
against Campo Verde, and the junta sent to Cadiz to 


demand the duke of Infantado as a chief. Milans, chap. 


who had assembled some Miguelettes and Soma- 

tenes about Arens de Mar, openly proposed him- j^ 
self, and Sarsfield, whose division was the only one 
in any order, was at variance with Eroles. The Appendix, 
country people desired to have the latter made section 5. 
captain-general, and a junta of general officers 
actually appointed him ; yet he would not accept 
it while Campo Verde remained, and that general 
had already reached Agramunt, whence, over- 
whelmed with his misfortunes, he meant to fly 
towards Aragon. He was, however, persuaded to 
return to Cervera, and call a council of war, and 
then it was proposed to abandon Catalonia as a lost 
country, and embark the army ; and this dis- 
graceful resolution, although opposed by Sarsfield, 
Santa-Cruz, and even Campo Verde himself, was 
adopted by the council, and spread universal con- 
sternation. The junta remonstrated loudly, all the 
troops who were not Catalans deserted, making 
principally for the Segre and Cin^a rivers, in hope 
to pass through Aragon into New Castile, and so 
regain their own provinces ; every place was filled 
with grief and despair. 

In this conjuncture captain Codrington refused 
to embark any Catalans, but he had promised to 
take back the Valencians, and although the con- 
ditions of his agreement had been grossly violated 
by Campo Verde and Miranda, he performed his 
contract : yet even this was not arranged without 
a contest between him and Doyle, on the one side, 
and Miranda and Caro on the other. Meanwhile Appendix, 
colonel Green, instead of remaining at the Spanish Section 2. 
head-quarters, returned to Peniscola with all the 
money and arms under his controul; and the captain 





book of the Prueba frigate, having under his command, 
several Spanish vessels of war loaded with wounded 
men, the archives of the municipality, ammunition, 
stores, and money, all belonging to Catalonia, set 
No. ii. 'sail for Majorca under such suspicious circurn- 

Section 3. , / ~ , . , , 

stances, that captain Codnngton thought it neces- 
sary to send a ship to fetch him back by force. 

In the midst of these afflicting scenes Suchet 
brought up his troops to Barcelona, and Maurice 
Mathieu with a part of his garrison marching upon 
Mataro, dispersed a small body of men that Eroles 
had collected there ; but the Valencian infantry to 
the number of two thousand four hundred escaped 
to Arens de Mar, and being received on board the 
English vessels were sent back to their own country. 
The cavalry, unwilling to part with their horses, 
would not embark, and menaced their general 
Caro, who fled from their fury; nevertheless Eroles 
rallied them, and having gathered some stores and 
money from the smaller depots, marched inland. 
Campo Verde then embarked privately in the Diana 
to avoid the vengeance of the people, and general 
Lacy, who had arrived from Cadiz, took the com- 
mand ; yet he would have been disregarded, if 
Eroles had not set the example of obedience. 
Suchet however moved against him, and first scour- 
ing the valley of the Congosta and that of Vich, 
spread his columns in all directions, and opened a 
communication with Macdonald at Figueras. Lacy, 
thus pressed, collected the cavalry and a few scat- 
tered Catalonian battalions remaining about Solsona, 
Cardona, and Seu d'Urgel, and took refuge in the 
hills, while Eroles threw himself into Montserrat, 
where large magazines had been previously formed. 
Suchet unable to find subsistence in the valleys, 




resolved to attack this celebrated place, and for chap. 
this purpose leaving Frere and Harispe at Vich and 
Moya, with orders to move at a given time upon 
Montserrat, returned himself with the reserve to 
Reus. Here he received despatches from Napoleon, 
who had created him a marshal, and had sent 
him orders to take Montserrat, to destroy the works 
of Taragona, with the exception of a citadel, and 
finally to march against Valencia. He therefore 
preserved the upper town of Taragona, ruined the 
rest of the works, carried the artillery to Tortoza, 
and marched against Montserrat on the 22d of July 
by the way of Momblanch and San Coloma to 
Igualada. At the same time Harispe and Frere 
moved by Manresa, and Maurice Mathieu entered 
Esparaguera with a part of the garrison of Bar- 


This strong-hold was occupied by fourteen or 
fifteen hundred Miguelettes and Somatenes, inade- 
quate as it proved to defend it against a great body 
of men such as Suchet was bringing up. But 
Eroles was daily raising recruits and adding works 
to the natural strength, and it would soon have been 
impregnable ; for on all sides the approaches were 
through the midst of steeps and precipices, and 
high upon a natural platform, opening to the east, 
and overlooking the Llobregat, stood the convent 
of " Nuestra Senora de Montserrat" a great edifice, 
and once full of riches, but the wary monks had 
removed their valuables to Minorca early in the 
war. It was now well stored and armed, and above 


book it huge peaks of stone shot up into the clouds so 
Xllf " rude, so naked, so desolate, that, to use Suchet's 
18 . n - expressive simile, " It was like the skeleton of a 

There were three ways of ascending to this 
convent ; one from Igualada which winded up on 
the north, from Casa Mansana, between a perpen- 
dicular rock and a precipice ; this road which was 
the only one supposed practicable for an attack, 
was defended by two successive batteries, and by a 
retrenchment immediately in front of the convent 
itself. The other two ways were, a foot-path on 
the south leading to Colbato, and a narrow road 
crossing the Llobregat and running by Monistrol on 
the east, but both so crossed and barred by pre- 
cipices as to be nearly inaccessible to troops. 

Suchet disposed one brigade at Colbato to menace 
that front, and to intercept the retreat of the Spa- 
niards ; he then occupied the roads of Igualada and 
Monistrol with Harispe's and Frere's divisions, and 
directed Abbe's brigade to attack from the convent 
by the northern line. The 24th Abbe drove the 
Spaniards from Casa Mansana, and the 25th 
advanced up the mountain, flanked by some light 
troops, and supported by Suchet in person with the 
Barcelona troops, but exposed to the fire of the 
Somatenes, who had gathered round the peaks 
above. In a short time the first Spanish battery 
opened upon the head of the column as it turned 
an angle, but more light troops being sent out, they 
climbed the rough rocks, and getting above the 
battery shot down upon the gunners, while the 
leading companies of the column rushed forward, 
in front, and before a second discharge could be 
made, reached the foot of the battery beneath the 


line of fire. The Spaniards then threw down large chap. 

stones upon the French until the fire of the light 1_ 

troops above, became so galling that the work was j^} 1 ' 
abandoned, the French however followed close, and 
the men above continued clambering along with 
that energy which the near prospect of success 
inspires ; thus the Spaniards, unable to rally in 
time, were overtaken and bayoneted in the second 
battery, and the road was opened. 

Abbe now re-formed his troops and marched on 
to assail the entrenchments of the convent, but as 
he advanced a sharp musketry was heard on the 
opposite quarter, and suddenly the Spanish gar- 
rison came flying out of the building pursued by 
French soldiers, who were supposed to be the bri- 
gade from Colbato ; they however proved to be the 
light troops first sent out, to keep off the Somatenes 
from the right flank ; for when the column ad- 
vanced up the mountain, these men, about three 
hundred in number, had wandered too far to the 
right, and insensibly gaining ground up hill, had 
seized one or two of the hermitages with which 
the peaks are furnished; then growing more daring, 
they pressed on unopposed, until they gained the 
rock immediately overhanging the convent itself, and 
perceiving their advantage, with that intelligence 
which belongs only to veterans, immediately attacked 
the Spanish reserves. Their commanding position, 
the steep rocks, and narrow staircases, compensated 
for their inferiority of numbers, and in a little 
time they gained one of the doors, entered, and 
fought the defenders amongst the cloisters and gal- 
leries, with various turns of fortune, until the 
fugitives from the batteries, followed by Abbe, 
arrived, and then the whole garrison gave way and 


book fled down the eastern precipices to the Llobregat, 
1_ where from their knowledge of the country they 

j^j easily avoided Harispe's men. 

The loss of this place, which by Eroles and 
others was attributed to colonel Green's having car- 
ried off the money destined for strengthening it, 
was deeply felt from its military importance, and 
from the superstitious veneration in which it was 
held : several towns then offered their submission, 
many villages gave up their arms, and a general fear 
of Suchet's prowess began to spread all over Spain ; 
but the Catalans, a fierce and constant race, were 
not yet conquered. The anarchy attendant upon 
the fall of Taragona and the after movements of 
Suchet had indeed been great : and as we have 
seen, most of the persons who might have aided to 
restore order, acted so as to increase the general 
confusion, and their bad example was followed by 
the authorities in other provinces who were most 
immediately connected with Catalonia: thus Cu- 
esta, at this time governor of the Balearic isles, 
Bassecour who was at Cuenca, and Palacios, who 
had just been made captain-general of Valencia, did 
in no manner comport themselves as the occasion 
required. Cuesta who had neglected to send from 
Minorca the guns wanted in Catalonia, now en- 
tered into a negotiation to exchange the prisoners 
at Cabrera against those of Taragona, a praise- 
worthy thing, if, as Suchet asserts, it arose from 
humanity ; and not an ill-judged measure in itself, 
because the Catalonian soldiers to be exchanged 
were the best in Spain, and the French prisoners 
were ruined in constitution by their hard captivity. 
But at this period of distress it was impolitic, and 
viewed with suspicion by the Catalonians, as tending 


to increase the French force. At the desire of Mr. chap. 

vi. ' 
Wellesley this exchange was, however, perempto- ■ — 

rily forbidden by the regency, and Cuesta refused AuJust. 

to receive any more prisoners at Cabrera, which 

while those already there were so tormented, was, 

from whatever motive arising, a meritorious act, 

and the last important one of his life, for he soon 

after died. The prisoners remained, therefore, a 

disgrace to Spain and to England ; for if her envoy 

interfered to prevent their release, she was bound 

to insist, that thousands of men, whose prolonged 

captivity was the result of her interference, should 

not be exposed upon a barren rock, naked as they 

were born, and fighting for each other's mise- Appendix, 

rable rations to prolong an existence inconceivably section 4. 


This untoward state of affairs in Catalonia was 

aggravated by the English, Spanish, and French 

privateers, who taking advantage of the times, 

plundered the people along the coast in concert ; 

and they were all engaged in the smuggling ofNolT' 1 '*' 

tobacco, the monopoly of which here as in other 

parts of Spain formed the principal resource of 

the revenue. Yet there were many considerable 

resources left to the Catalans. The chief towns 

had fallen, but the mountainous districts were not 

subdued and scarcely crossed by the French lines 

of invasion. The Somatenes were numerous, more 

experienced, and still ready to come forward, under 

a good general, if arms were provided for them, 

and the English squadron was always at hand to 

aid them : Admiral Keats brought three thousand 

muskets from Gibraltar, Sir E. Pellew, who had 

succeeded to the command of the Mediterranean 

fleet, was anxious to succour the province to the 


book full extent of his means, and Minorca was a 


great depot of guns, stores, and even men. Lacy, 
A | i 81 u 1 ' Eroles, Rovira, and others, therefore, raised fresh 
levies ; and while the blockade of Figueras con- 
tinued to keep all Macdonald's army employed, the 
Spaniards seized the opportunity to operate par- 
tially on the side of Besalu and Bispal, and even 
in the French Cerdana, which being unprotected, 
was invaded by Lacy. 

Suchet, whose posts now extended from Lerida 
to Montserrat on one side, and on the other from 
Taragona to Mequinenza, foresaw that a new and 
troublesome Catalonian war was preparing ; but he 
was obliged to return to Saragoza, partly to pre- 
pare for the invasion of Valencia, partly to restore 
tranquillity in Aragon, which had been disturbed 
by the passage of the seceders from Campo Verde's 
army. The Valencian cavalry also, when Eroles 
threw himself into Montserrat, had under the con- 
duct of general Gasca endeavoured to push through 
Aragon towards Navarre ; and although they were 
intercepted by general Reille, and followed closely 
by Chlopiski, they finally reached Valencia with- 
out much loss, and the rest of the fugitives gained 
the Moncayo mountains and afterwards joined 
Mina. That chief was then in a very low state ; 
he had been defeated on the 14th at Sanguessa, by 
Chlopiski, and Reille, who using the reinforcements 
then pouring into Spain, had pursued and defeated 
him again at Estella on the 23d of July, at Sorlada 
on the 24th, and at Val de Baygory on the 25th ; 
yet he finally escaped to Motrico on the Biscay 
coast, where he received fresh arms and stores from 
the English vessels ; but he was again defeated by 
CafYarelli, and finally driven for refuge to the dis- 


trict of Leibana : here the soldiers flying from chap. 


Taragona and Figueras joined him, and he soon ' 


reappeared more fierce and powerful than before. 
Meanwhile Villa Campa, whose division had „ 

. # Mr. Stu- 

been re-equipped from the supplies given by captain ait ' s P a - 
Codrington, concerted his operations with the partida 
chiefs Duran and Campillo ; and their combined 
forces being eight thousand strong, having advanced 
from different quarters on the right bank of the 
Ebro, invested Calatayud, and sought to carry ofT 
grain, which was now very scarce. This delayed 
the invasion of Valencia, for Suchet would not 
undertake it until he had again secured the frontier 
of Aragon, and many of his battalions were then 
escorting the prisoners to France. But when they 
returned, he directed numerous columns against the 
partidas, and at the same time troops belonging 
to the army of the centre came down by the way 
of Medina Celi ; whereupon the Spaniards retired 
to their fastnesses in the mountains of Soria on one 
side, and in those of Albaracin on the other. 

Four thousand of the Valencian army had mean- 
while marched against Rapita and Amposta, for 
the former post was re-established after the fall 
of Taragona, but although Habert, marching out of 
Tortoza with seven or eight hundred men, defeated 
them with a considerable loss, the embarrassments 
of the third corps were not removed ; for while 
these successes were obtained on the right of the 
Ebro the Catalans began to harass the posts be- 
tween Lericla and Montserrat. On the 9th of 
August the Somatenes fell on some Italians placed 
in Monistrol, and were with difficulty repulsed ; 
and a few days after, a convoy coming from Igua- 
lada to Montserrat, was attacked by fifteen hundred 


book insurgents, and was unable to proceed until Pa- 

'— lombini arrived with a battalion and dislodged the 

August Catalans, but he lost more than a hundred of his 
own men in the action. Suchet finding from these 
events that he could not safely withdraw his main 
body from Catalonia until the fall of Figueras 
should let loose the army of the upper province, 
sent fresh troops to Montserrat, and ordered Pa- 
lombini to move with his garrison to aid Macdonald 
in the blockade ; that place had, however, surren- 
dered before Palombini had passed Barcelona. 

General Martinez, after making many vain efforts 
to break the line of blockade, and having used 
every edible substance, prepared, on the 16th of 
August, to make a final effort, in concert with 
Rovira who came down to Llers. An officer deserting 
from the garrison betrayed the project; and Rovira 
was beaten in the morning before the garrison sal- 
lied, nevertheless, in the night Martinez endea- 
voured to cut his way through the lines on the side 
of Rosas, but was driven back with a loss of four 
hundred men. Three days after, the place was 
given up and three thousand famished men were 
made prisoners. Thus ended the fourth great effort 
of the Catalonians. The success of the French 
was not without alloy, more than a fourth part of 
the blockading troops had died of a pestilent dis- 
temper ; Macdonald himself was too ill to continue 
in the command, and the remainder of his army 
was so weakened, that no further active operations 
could be undertaken ; Suchet was still occupied in 
Aragon, and Lacy thus obtained time and means to 
reorganize troops for a fifth effort. 

The persons who had betrayed the place to Rovira 
were shot by Macdonald, and the commandant whose 




negligence had occasioned this misfortune was con- chap. 
demned to death ; but Napoleon, who has been so 
foully misrepresented as a sanguinary tyrant, Napo- 
leon, who had commuted the sentence of Dupont, now 
pardoned general Guillot ; a clemency in both cases 
remarkable, seeing that the loss of an army by one, 
and of a great fortress by the other, not only tended 
directly and powerfully to the destruction of the 
emperor's projects, but were in themselves great 
crimes ; and it is to be doubted if any other sove- 
reign in Europe would have displayed such a mer- 
ciful greatness of mind. 


1°, The emperor was discontented with Mac- 
donald's operations, and that general seems to have 
mistaken both the nature of mountain warfare in 
general, and that of Catalonia in particular. The 
first requires a persevering activity in seizing such 
commanding posts on the flanks or rear of an adver- 
sary as will oblige him to fight on disadvantageous 
terms ; and as the success greatly depends upon 
the rapidity and vigour of the troops, their spirit 
should be excited by continual enterprize, and nou- 
rished by commendation and rewards. Now Mac- 
donald, if we may believe Vacani, an eye-witness, 
did neither gain the confidence of his soldiers, nor 
cherish their ardour ; and while he exacted a more 
rigid discipline, than the composition of his troops 
and the nature of the war would bear, he let pass 
many important opportunities of crushing his ene- 
mies in the field. His intent was to reduce the 
ferocious and insubordinate disposition of his men, 
but the peculiar state of feeling with respect to the 


book war on both sides, did not permit this, and hence 

L_his marches appeared rather as processions and 

August ceremon i es tnan warlike operations. He won no 
town, struck no important blow in the field, gave no 
turn to the public feeling, and lost a most important 
fortress, which, with infinite pains and trouble, he 
could scarcely regain. 

The plans of all the French generals had 
been different. St. Cyr used to remain quiet, until 
the Spaniards gathered in such numbers that he 
could crush them in general battles; but then he 
lost all the fruit of his success by his inactivity 
afterwards. Augereau neither fought battles nor 
made excursions with skill, nor fulfilled the political 
hopes which he had excited. Macdonald was in 
constant movement, but he avoided battles ; although 
in every previous important attack the Catalans had 
been beaten, whether in strong or in weak positions. 
Suchet alone combined skill, activity, and resolu- 
tion, and the success which distinguished his opera- 
tions is the best comment upon the proceedings of 
the others. It is in vain to allege that this last 
marshal was in a better condition for offensive opera- 
tions, and that the emperor required of the seventh 
corps exertions which the extreme want of pro- 
visions prevented it from making. Napoleon might 
have been deceived as to the resources at first, and 
have thus put it upon enterprises beyond its means ; 
but after two years' experience, after receiving the 
reports of all the generals employed there, and 
having the most exact information of all occurrences, 
it is impossible to imagine that so consummate a 
captain would have urged Macdonald to undertake 
impracticable operations ; and the latter gave no 
convincing proof that his own views were sound. 




Notwithstanding the continual complaints of St. Cyr, chap. 
and other French writers, who have endeavoured 
to show that Napoleon was the only man who did 
not understand the nature of the war in Spain, and 
that the French armies were continually over- 
matched, it is certain that, after Baylen, the latter 
never lost a great battle except to the English ; that 
they took every town they besieged, and never suf- 
fered any reverse from the Spaniards which cannot 
be distinctly traced to the executive officers. It 
would be silly to doubt the general merit of a man 
who in so many wars, and for many years, has 
maintained the noblest reputation, midst innume- 
rable dangers, and many great political changes in 
his own country, but Macdonald's military talents 
do not seem to have been calculated for the irre- 
gular warfare of Catalonia. 

2°. The surprise of Figueras has been designated 
as a misfortune to the Spaniards, because it shut 
up a large body of their best Miguelettes, who fell 
with the place ; and because it drew off Campo 
Verde from Taragona at a critical period. Let us, 
however, contrast the advantages, and, apart from 
the vigour and enterprise displayed in the exe 
cution, no mean help to the cause at the time, it 
will be seen that the taking of that fortress was 
a great gain to the Catalans ; for, first, it carried 
away Macdonald from Barcelona, and thus the fall 
of Montserrat was deferred, and great danger of 
failure incurred by Suchet at Taragona; a failure 
infallible, if his adversaries had behaved with either 
skill or courage. Secondly, it employed all the 
French army of Upper Catalonia, the national 
guards of the frontier, and even troops from 
Toulon, in a blockade, during which the sword and 

vol. iv. I 



book sickness destroyed more than four thousand men, 
— and the remainder were so weakened as to be inca- 
pable of field service for a long time ; meanwhile 
Lacy reorganized fresh forces, and revived the war, 
which he could never have done if the seventh corps 
had been disposable. Thirdly, seeing that Campo 
Verde was incapable of handling large masses, it is 
doubtful if he could have resisted or retarded for any 
time the investment of Taragona ; but it is certain 
that the blockade of Figueras gave an opportunity 
to Catalonia, to recover the loss of Taragona ; and 
it obliged Suchet, instead of Macdonald, to take 
Montserrat, which disseminated the former force, 
and retarded the invasion of Valencia. Wherefore 
Rovira's daring, in the surprise, and Martinez' reso- 
lution in the maintaining of Figueras, were as use- 
ful as they were glorious. 

3°. The usual negligence, and slowness of the 
Spaniards, was apparent during this campaign ; 
although resolution, perseverance, and talent were 
evinced by Suchet in all his operations, the success 
was in a great measure due to the faults of his op- 
ponents, and amongst those faults colonel Skerrett's 
conduct was prominent. It is true that captain 
Codrington and others agreed in the resolution not 
to land ; that there was a heavy surf, and that the 
engineers predicted on the 27th that the wall would 
soon be beaten down ; but the question should 
have been viewed in another light by colonel Sker- 
rett. Taragona was the bulwark of the principality, 
the stay and hope of the war. It was the city of 
Spain whose importance was next to Cadiz, and 
before its walls the security or the ruin of Valencia 
as well as of Catalonia was to be found. Of the 
French scarcely fourteen thousand infantry were 




under arms, and those were exhausted with toil. chap. 
The upper town, which was the body of the place, 
was still unbreached, it was only attacked upon one 
narrow front, and behind it the Rambla offered a 
second and a more powerful defence. There were, 
to use the governor's expression, within the walls 
" eight thousand of the most warlike troops in Spain" 
and there was a succouring army without, equal in 
number to the whole infantry of the besiegers. 
Under these circumstances the stoutest assailants 
might have been repulsed, and a severe repulse 
would have been fatal to the French operations. 

Captain Codrington asserts that in the skirmishes 
beyond the walls, the valour of the garrison was 
eminent ; and he saw a poor ragged fellow en- 
deavouring, such was his humanity and greatness 
of mind, to stifle the burning fuze of a shell with 
sand, that some women and children might have 
time to escape. Feeling and courage, the springs 
of moral force, were therefore not wanting, but 
the virtue of the people was diminished, and the 
spirit of the soldiery overlaid, by the bad conduct 
of their leaders. The rich citizens fled early to 
Villa Nueva, and they were followed by many 
superior officers of regiments ; Contreras jealous of 
Sarsfield had obliged him, as we have seen, to quit 
his post at a critical moment, and then represented 
it to the garrison as a desertion ; the Valencians 
were carried off after being one day in the place, 
and the Murcians came without arms ; and all this 
confusion and mischief were so palpable, that the 
poor Spanish soldiers could anticipate nothing but 
failure if left to themselves, and it was precisely for 
this reason that the British should have been landed 
to restore confidence. And is there nothing to be 

i 2 


book allowed for the impetuous fury of an English co- 


lumn breaking out of the place at the moment of 

18n - attack? Let it be remembered also, that in conse- 
quence of the arrival of a seventy- four, convoying 
the transports, such was the number of ships of 
war, that a thousand seamen and marines might 
have been added to the troops ; and who can believe 
that three or four thousand French and Italians, 
the utmost that could be brought to bear in mass 
on one point, and that not an easy point, for the 
breach was narrow and scarcely practicable, would 
have carried the place against eight thousand Spa- 
niards and two thousand British. But then the 
surf and the enemy's shot at the landing-place, and 
the opinion of general Doyle and of captain Co- 
drington and of the engineers ! The enemy's shot 
might have inflicted loss, but could not, especially 
at night, have stopped the disembarkation ; and the 
opinion of the engineers, was a just report of the 
state of the walls, but in no manner touched the 
moral considerations. 

When the Roman Pompey was adjured by his 
friends not to put to sea during a violent storm he 
replied, " ft is necessary to sail — it is not necessary 
to live." It was also necessary to save Taragona ! 
Was no risk to be incurred for so great an object ? 
Was an uncertain danger to be weighed against 
such a loss to Spain ? Was the British intrepidity 
to be set at nought ? Were British soldiers to be 
quiet spectators, while Spaniards stood up in a fight 
too dangerous for them to meddle with ? Is that 
false but common doctrine, so degrading to sol- 
diers, that brick-and-mortar sentiment, that the 
courage of the garrison is not to be taken into 
account, to be implicitly followed? What if the 




Spaniards had been successful ? The result was chap. 
most painful ! Taragona strongly fortified, having 
at different periods above fifteen thousand men 
thrown into it, with an open harbour and free com- 
munication by sea, was taken by less than twenty 
thousand French and Italian infantry, in the face of 
a succouring army, a British brigade, and a British 

4°. The cruelty of the French general and the 
ferocity of his soldiers, have been dwelt upon by 
several writers, but Suchet has vindicated his own 
conduct, and it is therefore unnecessary here to 
enter into a close investigation of facts which have 
been distorted, or of reasoning which has been 
misapplied. That every barbarity, commonly at- 
tendant upon the storming of towns, was practised 
may be supposed ; there is in the military institu- 
tions of Europe nothing calculated to arrest such 
atrocities. Soldiers of every nation look upon the 
devastation of a town taken by assault as their 
right, and it would be unjust to hold Suchet re- 
sponsible for the violence of an army composed 
of men from different countries, exasperated by 
the obstinacy of the defence, and by a cruel war- 
fare ; in Spanish towns also the people generally 
formed a part of the garrison. 


The transactions in the first of these provinces 
during the siege of Taragona have been already 
sufficiently noticed; and those in Murcia were 
little interest, for the defeat of Blake at Cullar in 
November 1810, and the fever which raged at 


rook Carthagena, together with the frequent change of 

L- commanders, and the neglect of the government 

1811 ' had completely ruined the Murcian army. The 
number of men was indeed considerable, and the 
fourth French corps, weakened by drafts for the 
expedition to Estremadura, and menaced by the 
Barossa expedition, could not oppose more than five 
or six thousand men ; yet the province had never 
been touched by an enemy, and the circumstances 
were all favorable for the organization and frequent 
trial of new troops. 

In February 1811 colonel Roche, the military 
agent, described the whole army as " ready to dis- 
perse on the first appearance of an enemy," and in the 
following June he says that "after being left to them- 
selves for three years, the Murcian troops were abso- 
lutely in a worse state than they were at the com- 
mencement of the revolution, that general Freire, 
although at the head of sixteen thousand infantry 
and three thousand cavalry, dared not attack the six 
thousand French before him, lest his men should 
disperse, and they thought as little of the general 
as he did of them ; that indolence, lassitude, and 
egotism prevailed in all parts ; that the establishment 
of the Cortes had proved but a slight stimulus to 
the enthusiasm, which was fast dying away, and 
that the most agreeable thing in the world at the 
moment to the Spaniards, would be to remain 
neuter, while England and France fought the 
battle and paid all the expense." The Murcian 
force was increased after Mahi's arrival to twenty- 
two thousand men, but remained inactive until 
August, when Blake assumed the command, and 
the events which followed will be treated of here- 




The petty warfare in the south of Grenada and chap 
Andalusia, deserves little notice, for during Blake's 
absence in Estremadura with the fourth army, it 
was principally confined to the Ronda, where the 
Serranos aided at times by the troops from Alge- 
siras, and by succours from Gibraltar, were always 
in arms; yet even there, the extreme arrogance and 
folly of the Spanish generals, so vexed the Serranos, 
that they were hardly prevented from capitulating 
in form with the French, and while Soult con- 
tinued at Llerena after the battle of Albuera. The 
Escopeteros and civic guards sufficed to keep the 
Partidas in check. Thus the blockade of the Isla 
remained undisturbed from without, and Cadiz itself, 
the seat of all intrigues and follies, was fed by Eng- 
lish fleets and defended by English troops. 

The narrative of the circle of secondary operations 
being now completed, and the fate of Spain proved 
to depend upon the British general alone, it will 
be proper in the next book to take a view of poli- 
tical affairs shewing how strongly they bore upon 
lord Wellington's decisions ; and if such an inter- 
ruption of the military story should be distasteful 
to any reader I would have him reflect, that war 
is not so much a series of battles, as a series of 
difficulties in the preparations to fight them with 




book After the conquest of Andalusia, the intrusive 


u monarch pursued his own system of policy with 

i8io. more eagerness than before. He published amnes- 

joseph's ties, granted honours and rewards to his followers, 

papers ° 

captured took many of the opposite party into his service, 
mss. and treated the people generally with mildness. 
But he was guided principally by his Spanish 
Appendix ministers, who being tainted with the national 
Section'i. weaknesses of character were, especially Orquijo, 
continually making exaggerated reports, intriguing 
against the French generals, and striving, some- 
times with, sometimes without justice, to incense 
the king against them. This course, which was 
almost the inevitable consequence of his situation, 
excited angry feelings in the military, which, 
joined to the natural haughtiness of soldiers in com- 
mand, produced constant disputes. In the con- 
quered provinces, Joseph's civil agents endeavoured 
to obtain more of the spoil than comported with 
the wants of the armies, and hence bickerings be- 
tween the French officers and the Spanish autho- 
rities were as unceasing as they were violent. The 


prefects, royal commissaries, and intendants would chap. 

not act under military orders, with respect to the 

supplies, nor would they furnish sums for the mili- 
tary chests. On the other hand the generals often 
seized the king's revenue, raised extraordinary and 
forced contributions, disregarded legal forms, and 
even threatened to arrest the royal agents when 
they refused compliance with their wishes. Nei- 
ther was Joseph's own conduct always free from p^"" 1 ' 8 
violence, for in the latter part of 1811 he obliged MSS * 
the merchants of Madrid, to draw bills, for two 
millions of dollars, on their correspondents in Lon- 
don, to supply him with a forced loan. 

He was always complaining to the emperor that 
the niggardly allowances from France, the exactions 
of the generals, and the misery of the country left 
him no means of existence as a monarch; and 
during the greatest part of 1810 and the beginning 
of 1811, Santa Fe, Almenara, and Orquijo, suC' 
ceeding each other as ambassadors at Paris, were 
in angry negotiations, with Napoleon's ministers, Joseph's 
relating to this subject, and to a project for ceding capered 
the provinces of the Ebro in exchange for Portugal, mss? "*' 
Against this project Joseph protested, on the grounds 
that it was contrary to the constitution of Bayonne, 
that it would alienate the Spaniards, was degrading 
to himself, and unjust as a bargain ; seeing that 
Portugal, was neither so rich, so industrious, so 
pleasant, nor so well affected to him as the pro- 
vinces to be taken away, and the well-known Ib id. 
hatred between the Spaniards and Portuguese 
would never allow the latter to be quiet subjects. 

To these complaints, Napoleon answered with 
his usual force and clearness of judgment. He in- 
sisted that the cost of the war had drained the 


book French exchequer; that he had employed nearly 


four hundred thousand men for the king's interest, 
Jarmar an< ^ tnat ratner tnan increase the expenses he would 

withdraw some of the troops. He reproached 
papers Joseph with the feebleness of his operations, the 
at vittoda, waste and luxury of his court, his ill-judged 

mss. .,..,. i 

schemes of conciliation, his extravagant rewards, 
his too great generosity to the opposite party, and 
his raising, contrary to the opinion of the marshals, 
a Spanish army which would desert on the first re- 
verse. The constitution of Bayonne, he said, was 
rendered null by the war, nevertheless he had not 
taken a single village from Spain, and he had no 
wish to seize the provinces of the Ebro, unless the 
state of the contest obliged him to do so. He 
required indeed a guarantee for the repayment of 
the money France had expended for the Spanish 
crown, yet the real wishes of the people were to be 
ascertained before any cession of territory could 
take place, and to talk of Portugal before it was 
ibid, conquered was folly. As this last observation was 
Joseph's own argument, an explanation ensued, 
when it appeared that Almenara, thinking the 
seizure of the Ebro provinces a settled plan, had, 
of his own accord, asked for Portugal as an indem- 
nification ; a fact that marks the character of 
the Spanish cabinet. 

Napoleon also assured the king that there must 
be a great deal of money in Spain, for, besides the 
sums sent from France, the plate of the suppressed 
convents, and the silver received by the Spaniards 
from America, there were the subsidies from Eng- 
land, and the enormous expenditure of her troops. 
Then, the seizure and sale of national domains, and 
of confiscated colonial produce, were to be taken into 


calculation, and if the king wanted more, he must chap. 

extract it from the country, or go without. France ! — 

would only continue her subsidy of two millions of 1811 ' 
franks monthly. The emperor had always sup- 
ported his wars by the resources of the territory in 
which it was carried on, and the king might do the 

Joseph replied that his court was neither luxu- 
rious nor magnificent; that he recompensed services, 
by giving bills on the contingent sales of national 
domains, which could not be applied to the wants 
of the soldiers ; that he could scarcely keep the 
public servants alive, and that his own expenses 
were not greater than the splendour of the crown 
required. That many of the best generals approved 
of his raising a Spanish army, desertions from it 
were less frequent than was imagined, and were 
daily diminishing; and these native troops served to 
garrison towns while the French were in the field. 
He wished, he said, to obtain large loans rather 
than small gifts from the French treasury, and de- 
sired that the confiscated property of the Spanish 
noblemen who had been declared traitors in 1808, 
should be paid to him ; but with regard to harsh 
measures, the people could not pay the contributions, 
and the proceedings of a king with his subjects should Joseph's 
not be like those of a foreign general. Lenity was captured 
necessary to tranquillize the provinces subdued, and mss. 
as an example to those which resisted. The first 
thing was to conciliate the people's affections. The 
plate of the suppressed convents was not so valuable 
as it appeared at a distance, the greater part of 
it was already plundered by the guerillas, or by 
the French troops. The French marshals inter- 
cepted his revenues, disregarded his orders, in- 


book suited his government, and oppressed the country. 

He was degraded as a monarch and would endure 

January. lt no l° n ger. He had been appointed to the throne 

of Spain without his own consent, and although he 

would never oppose his brother's will, he would not 

panels' 8 ^* ve a degraded king, and was therefore ready to 

atvTuoda res ig' n j unless the emperor would come in person 

MSS - and remedy the present evils. 

Napoleon, while he admitted the reasonableness 
of some of the king's statements, still insisted, 
and with propriety of argument, that it was ne- 
cessary to subdue the people before they could 
be conciliated. Yet to prevent wanton abuses of 

Appendix, l 

No. in. power, he fixed the exact sum which each person, 

Section 3. l x 

from the general governors down to the lowest 
subaltern was to receive, and he ordered every 
person violating this regulation to be dismissed 
upon the spot, and a report of the circumstance 
sent to Paris within twenty hours after. Before 
February, this, Bessieres, acknowledged by all to be a 
just and mild man, had been sent to remedy the 
mischief said to have been done by Kellerman, and 
others in the northern provinces. And in respect 
of conciliation, the emperor remarked that he had 
himself, at first, intended to open secret negotiations 
with the Cortes, but on finding what an obscure 
rabble they were, he had desisted. He therefore 
recommended Joseph to assemble at Madrid a 
April, counter-cortes, composed of men of influence and 
reputation, wherein (adverting to the insane inso- 
lence of the Spaniards towards their colonies) he 
might by the discussion of really liberal insti- 
tutions, and by exposing the bad faith with which 
the English encouraged the Americans, improve 
public opinion, and conciliate the Spaniards with 


hopes of preserving the integrity of the empire, so chap. 
rudely shaken by the revolt of the colonies. ' 

An additional subsidy was peremptorily refused, ^ 81 r ^ 
but the emperor finally consented to furnish Joseph 
with half a million of franks monthly, for the par- 
ticular support of his court ; and it is worthy of 
notice, as illustrating the character of Napoleon, 
that in the course of these disputes, Joseph's friends Appendix, 
at Paris, repeatedly advised him, that the diplo- 
matic style of his letters incensed and hardened the 
emperor, whereas his familiar style as a brother 
always softened and disposed him to concede what 
was demanded. Joseph, however, could not endure May. 
the decree for establishing the military govern- 
ments, by which the administration was placed 
entirely in the hands of the generals, and their 
reports upon the civil and judicial administration 
referred entirely to the emperor. It was a measure 
assailing at once his pride, his power, and his purse. 
His mind, therefore, became daily more embittered, 
and his prefects and commissaries, emboldened by 
his opinions, absolutely refused to act under the 
French marshals orders. Many of these com- 
plaints, founded on the reports of his Spanish ser- 
vants, were untrue and others distorted. We have 
seen how the habitual exaggerations, and even 
downright falsehoods of the juntas and the regency, 
thwarted the English general's operations, and the 
king, as well as the French generals, must have 
encountered a like disposition in the Spanish 
ministers. Nevertheless, the nature of the war ren- 
dered it impossible but that much ground of com- 
plaint should exist. 

Joseph's personal sentiments, abstractedly viewed, 
were high-minded and benevolent ; but they sorted 


book ill with his situation as an usurper. He had neither 
xiv. . ... 

patience nor profundity in his policy, and at last 

J^ 1- such was his irritation, that having drawn up a 
private but formal renunciation of the crown, he 
Appendix, took an escort of five thousand men, and about the 
Section '2. period of the battle of Fuentes Onoro, passed out of 
Spain and reached Paris : there Ney, Massena, 
Junot, St. Cyr, Kellerman, Augereau, Loison, and 
Sebastiani, were also assembled, and all discon- 
tented with the war, and with each other. 

By this rash and ill-timed proceeding, the intru- 
sive government was left without a head, and the 
army of the centre was rendered nearly useless at 
the critical moment, when Soult, engaged in the 
Albuera operations, had a right to expect support 
from Madrid. The northern army also was in a 
great measure paralysed, and the army of Portugal, 
besides having just failed at Fuentes, was in all the 
disorganization attendant upon the retreat from 
Santarem, and upon a change of commanders. This 
was the principal cause why Bessieres abandoned 
See the Asturias and concentrated his forces in Leon and 

Chap. I. 

Castile on the communications with France ; for it 
behoved the French generals, everywhere to hold 
their troops in hand, and to be on the defensive, 
until the emperor's resolution in this extraordinary 
conjuncture should be known. 

Napoleon astounded at this precipitate action of 
No P iii ix ' ^ e king, complained, with reason, that having 
section 3. promised not to quit the country without due 
notice, Joseph had failed to him, both as a monarch 
and as a general, and that he should at least have 
better chosen his time ; for if he had retired in 
January, when the armies were all inactive, the evil 
would have been less, as the emperor might then 


have abandoned Andalusia, and concentrated Soult's chap. 

and Massena's troops on the Tagus ; which would ! — 

have been in accord with the policy fitting for the ]^" 
occasion. But now when the armies had suffered 
reverses, when they were widely separated, and in 
pursuit of different objects, the mischief was great, 
and the king's conduct not to be justified ! 

Joseph replied that he had taken good measures 
to prevent confusion during his absence, and then 
reiterating his complaints and declaring his resolu- 
tion to retire into obscurity, he finished by ob- 
serving, with equal truth and simplicity of mind, 
that it would be better for the emperor that he Appendix, 
should do so, inasmuch as in France he would be section's. 
a good subject, but in Spain a bad king. 

The emperor had however too powerful an in- 
tellect for his brother to contend with. Partly by 
reason, partly by authority, partly by concession, he 
obliged him to return again in July, furnished with 
a species of private treaty, by which the army of the 
centre was placed entirely at his disposal. He was 
also empowered to punish delinquents, to change 
the organization, and to remove officers who were 
offensive to him, even the chief of the staff, general 
Belliard, who had been represented by Orquijo as 
inimical to his system. And if any of the other 
armies should, by the chances of war, arrive within 
the district of the centre army, they also, while 
there, were to be under the king ; and at all times, 
even in their own districts, when he placed himself 
at their head. The army of the north was to 
remain with its actual organization and under a 
marshal, but Joseph had liberty to change Bessieres 
for Jourdan. 

To prevent the oppression of the people, espe- 


rook cially in the north, Napoleon required the French 



military authorities, to send daily reports, to the 

king, of all requisitions and contributions exacted. 

And he advised his brother to keep a Spanish corn- 
Appendix. . ill r i l 
No. ii. missarv at the head-quarters ot each army, to watch 

Section 3/ _. J . . . ^ . . , J \ 

over Spanish interests ; promising that whenever a 
province should have the means, and the will, to 
resist the incursions of the guerillas, it should 
revert entirely to the government of the king, and 
be subjected to no charges, save those made by the 
Spanish civil authorities for general purposes. The 
armies of the south and of Aragon were placed 
in a like situation on the same terms, and meanwhile 
Joseph was to receive a quarter of the contributions 
from each, for the support of his court and of the 
central army. 

The entire command of the forces in Spain the 
emperor would not grant, observing that the marshal 
directing from Madrid, as major-general, would na- 
turally claim the glory, as well as the responsibility 
of arranging the operations ; and hence the other 
marshals, finding themselves, in reality, under his, 
instead of the king's command, would obey badly 
or not at all. All their reports and the intelligence 
necessary to the understanding of affairs were 
therefore to be addressed directly to Berthier, for 
the emperor's information. Finally the half million 
of francs hitherto given monthly to the king was 
to be increased to a million for the year 1811 ; and 
it was expected that Joseph would immediately re- 
organize the army of the centre, restore its disci- 
pline, and make it, what it had not yet been, of 
weight in the contest, 
ibid. The king afterwards obtained some further con- 
cessions, the most important of which related to 


the employment and assembling of Spaniards ac- chap. 
cording to his own directions and plans. This 

final arrangement and the importance given to J®**; 
Joseph's return, for by the emperor's orders, he 
was received as if he had only been to Paris to 
concert a great plan, produced a good effect for a 
short time ; but after the fall of Figueras, Napoleon 
fearing to trust Spanish civilians, extended the_ 
plan, hitherto confined to Catalonia, of employing 
French intendants in all the provinces on the left 
of the Ebro. Then the king's jealousy was again 
excited, and the old bickerings between him and 
the marshals were revived. 


In 181 1 the emperor's power over the continent, as 
far as the frontier of Russia, was in fact, absolute; and 
in France internal prosperity was enjoyed with ex- 
ternal glory. But the emperor of Russia, stimulated 
by English diplomacy, and by a personal discontent; 
in dread also of his nobles, who were impatient 
under the losses which the continental system 
inflicted upon them, was plainly in opposition to 
the ascendancy of France, and Napoleon, although 
wishing to avoid a rupture, was too long-sighted, 
not to perceive, that it was time to prepare for a 
more gigantic contest than any he had hitherto 
engaged in. He therefore husbanded his money 
and soldiers, and would no longer lavish them upon 
the Spanish war. He had poured men indeed con- 
tinually into that country, but these were generally 
conscripts, while in the north of France he was 
forming a reserve of two hundred thousand old 





book soldiers ; but with that art that it was doubtful 


whether they were intended for the Peninsula or 
for ulterior objects, being ready for either, ac- 
cording- to circumstances. 

Such an uncertain state of affairs, prevented him 
from taking more decided steps, in person, with 
relation to Spain, which he would undoubtedly 
have done if the war there, had been the only 
great matter on his hands, and therefore the aspect 
of French politics, both in Spain and other places, 
was favourable to lord Wellington's views. A 
Russian war, sooner or later, was one of the prin- 
cipal chances upon which he rested his hopes of 
final success ; yet his anticipations were dashed with 
fear, for the situation of the Spanish and Portuguese 
governments, and of their armies, and the con- 
dition of the English government, were by no 
means so favourable to his plans, as shall be shewn 
in the next chapter. 






It was very clear that merely to defend Por- chap. 
tugal, with enormous loss of treasure and of blood, . 
would be a ruinous policy ; and that to redeem the 
Peninsula the Spaniards must be brought to act 
more reasonably than they had hitherto done. But 
this the national character and the extreme ignorance 
of public business, whether military or civil, which 
distinguished the generals and statesmen, rendered 
a very difficult task. 

Lord Wellington, finding the English power weak 
to control, and its influence as weak to sway, the 
councils of Spain, could only hope by industry, 
patience, and the glory of his successes in Portugal, 
to acquire that personal ascendancy, which would 
enable him to direct the resources of the whole 
Peninsula in a vigorous manner, and towards a 
common object. And the difficulty of attaining that 
ascendancy can only be made clear by a review 
of the intercourse between the British government 
and the Spanish authorities, from the first bursting 
out of the insurrection, to the period now treated 
of; a review which will disclose the utter unfitness 
of Mr. Canning to conduct great affairs. Heaping 
treasure, stores, arms, and flattery, upon those who 
were unable to bear the latter, or use the former 

k 2 


book beneficially, he neglected all those persons who 
__ — ! — were capable of forwarding the cause ; and neither 
181 1 - in the choice of his agents, nor in his instructions 
to them, nor in his estimation of the value of 
events, did he discover wisdom or diligence, al- 
though he covered his misconduct, at the moment, 
by his glittering oratory. 
1808. Soon after the Spanish deputies had first applied 
for the assistance of England, Mr. Charles Stuart, 
who was the only regular diplomatist sent to Spain, 
carried, to Coruiia, such a sum, as, with previous 
subsidies made up one million of dollars for Gallicia 
alone. The deputies from Asturias had at the 
same time demanded five millions of dollars, and 
one was paid in part of their demand ; but when 
this was known, two millions more were demanded 
for Gallicia, which were not refused ; and yet the 
first point in Mr. Canning's instructions to Mr. 
Stuart, was, to enter into " no political engagements T 
Appendix, ]y[ r Duff, the consul for Cadiz, carried out a 
section l million of dollars for Andalusia, the junta asked 
for three or four millions more, and the demands 
of Portugal, although less extravagant, were very 
great. Thus above sixteen millions of dollars were 
craved, and more than four millions, including the 
gift to Portugal, had been sent ; the remainder was 
not denied ; and the amount of arms, and other 
stores given, may be estimated by the fact, that 
eighty-two pieces of artillery, ninety-six thousand 
muskets, eight hundred thousand flints, six millions 
and a half of ball-cartridges, seven thousand five 
hundred barrels of powder, and thirty thousand 
swords and belts had been sent to Coruna and 
Cadiz ; and the supply to the Asturias was in pro- 
portion. But Mr. Canning's instructions to Mr. Duff 


and to the other agents were still the same as to CHAP 
Mr. Stuart, " His Majesty had no desire to annex IL 
any conditions to the 'pecuniary assistance which he 1 ^- 
furnished to Spain." 

Mr. Canning observed that he considered the 
amount of money as nothing ! but acknowledged 
that specie was at this time so scarce that it was 
only by a direct and secret understanding with the 
former government of Spain, under the connivance 
of France, that any considerable amount of dollars 
had been collected in England. And " each pro- 
vince of Spain," he said, " had made its own 
particular application, and the whole occasioned 
a call for specie such as had never before been 
made upon England at any period of its existence. 
There was a rivalry between the provinces with 
reference to the amount of sums demanded which 
rendered the greatest caution necessary." And 
the more so, that " the deputies were incompetent 
to furnish either information or advice upon the 
state of affairs in Spain ;" yet Mr. Duff was com- 
manded, while representing these astounding things 
to the junta of Seville, " to avoid any appearance 
of a desire to overrate the merit and value of the 
exertions then making by Great Britain in favour of 
the Spanish nation, or to lay the grounds for re- 
straining or limiting those exertions within any other 
bounds than those which were prescribed by the limits 
of the actual means of the country" In proof of Mr. 
Canning's sincerity upon this head, he afterwards 
sent two millions of dollars by Mr. Frere, while the 
British army was left without any funds at all ! 
Moreover the supplies, so recklessly granted, being 
transmitted through subordinates and irresponsible 
persons were absurdly and unequally distributed. 
This obsequious extravagance, produced the utmost 


book arrogance on the part of the Spanish leaders, 


who treated the English minister's humble policy 
1811, with the insolence it courted. When Mr. Stuart 
reached Madrid, after the establishment of the 
supreme junta, that body, raising its demands upon 
England, in proportion to its superior importance, 
required, and in the most peremptory language, 
additional succours so enormous as to startle even 
the prodigality of the English government. 

Ten millions of dollars instantly, five hundred 
thousand yards of cloth, four million yards of linen 
for shirts and for the hospitals, three hundred 
thousand pair of shoes, thirty thousand pair of 
boots, twelve million of cartridges, two hundred 
thousand muskets, twelve thousand pair of pistols, 
fifty thousand swords, one hundred thousand arobas 
of flour, besides salt meat and fish ! These were 
their demands ! and when Mr. Stuart's remonstrance 
obliged them to alter the insulting language of their 
note, they insisted the'more strenuously upon having 
the succours ; observing that England had as yet 
only done enough to set their force afloat, and that 
she might naturally expect demands like the present 
to follow the first. They desired also that the 
money should be furnished at once, by bills on the 
British treasury, and at the same time required 
the confiscation of Godoy's property in the English 
funds ! 

Such was Mr. Canning's opening policy, and the 
sequel was worthy of the commencement. His pro- 
ceedings with respect to the Erfurth proposals for 
peace, his injudicious choice of Mr. Frere, his 
leaving of Mr. Stuart without instructions for three 
months at the most critical period of the insur- 
rection, and his management of affairs in Por- 
tugal and at Cadiz, during sir John Cradock's 


command, have been already noticed ; and that he chap. 

was not misled by any curious accordance in the '. — 

reports of his agents, is certain, for he was early 1811 ' 
and constantly informed of the real state of affairs 
by Mr. Stuart. That gentleman was the accredited 
diplomatist, and in all important points, his reports 
were very exactly corroborated by the letters of sir 
John Moore, and by the running course of events ; 
yet Mr. Canning neither acted upon them nor 
published them, but he received all the idle, vaunt- 
ing, accounts of the subordinate civil and military 
agents, with complacency, and published them 
with ostentation; thus encouraging the misrepresen- 
tations of ignorant men, increasing the arrogance 
of the Spaniards, deceiving the English nation, 
and as far as he was able misleading the English 

Mr. Stuart reached Coruiia in July 1808, and 
on the 22d of that month informed Mr. Canning 
that the reports of successes in the south were not 
to be depended upon, seeing that they increased 
exactly in proportion to the difficulty of commu- 
cating with the alledged scenes of action, and with 
the dearth of events, or the recurrence of disasters 
in the northern parts. He also assured him, that 
the numbers of the Spanisli armies, within his 
knowledge, were by no means so great as they were 

On the 26th of July he gave a detailed history Appendix, 
of the Gallician insurrection, by which he plainly Section l. 
shewed that every species of violence, disorder, 
intrigue, and deceit were to be expected from the 
•leading people ; that the junta's object was to 
separate Gallicia from Spain ; and that so inappro- 
priate was the affected delicacy of abstaining from 


book conditions, while furnishing: succours : that the 

XIV. . . . 

1 junta of Gallicia was only kept in power, by the 

81 ' countenance of England, evinced in her lavish 
supplies, and the residence of her envoy at Coruna. 
The interference of the British naval officers to 
quell a political tumult had even been asked for, 
and had been successful ; and Mr. Stuart himself 
had been intreated to meddle in the appointments 
of the governing members, and in other contests for 
power, which were daily taking place. In fine, 
Appendix, before the end of August the system of folly, 
section l. p ecu l a tion 7 waste, and improvidence which cha- 
racterized Spanish proceedings, was completely 
detected by Mr. Stuart, and laid before Mr. Can- 
ning, without in the slightest degree altering the 
latter's egregious system, or even attracting his 
notice ; nay, he even intimated to the ambitious 
junta of Seville, that England would willingly 
acknowledge its supremacy, if the consent of the 
other provinces could be obtained ; thus holding 
out a premium for the continuation of that anarchy, 
which it should have been his first object to 

Mr. Stuart was kept in a corner of the peninsula, 
whence he could not communicate freely with any 
other province, and where his presence materially 
contributed to cherish the project of separating 
Gallicia; and this without the shadow of a pre- 
tence, because there was also a British admiral 
and consul, and a military mission at Coruna, all 
capable of transmitting the necessary local intel- 
ligence. But so little did Mr. Canning care to 
receive his envoy's reports, that the packet, con- 
veying his despatches, was ordered to touch at 
Gihon to receive the consul's letters, which caused 


the delay of a week when every moment was big chap. 
with important events ; a delay not to be remedied 

by the admiral on the station, because he had not * ' 
even been officially informed that Mr. Stuart was 
an accredited person ! 

When the latter, thinking it time to look to the 
public affairs, on his own responsibility, proceeded see v©i. i. 
to Madrid, and finally to Andalusia, he found the 
evils springing from Mr. Canning's inconsiderate 
conduct every where prominent. In the capital 
the supreme junta had regarded England as a 
bonded debtor ; and the influence of her diplo- 
matist at Seville may be estimated from the follow- 
ing note, written by Mr. Stuart to Mr. Frere, upon 
the subject of permitting British troops to enter 

" When the junta refused to admit general 
Mackenzie's detachment, you tell me it was merely 
from alarm respecting the disposition of the in- 
habitants of Seville and Cadiz. I am not aware 
of the feelings which prevail in Seville, but with 
respect to this town, whatever the navy or the 
English travellers, may assert to the contrary, 
I am perfectly convinced that there exists only a 
wish to receive them, and general regret and sur- 
prise at their continuance on board." 

Nor was the mischief confined to Spain. Mr. 
Frere, apparently tired of the presence of a man 
whose energy and talent were a continued reflection 
upon his own imbecile diplomacy, ordered Mr. 
Stuart, either to join Cuesta's army or to go by 
Trieste to Vienna; he chose the latter, because 
there was not even a subordinate political agent 
there, although this was the critical period, which 
preceded the Austrian declaration of war against 



book France in 1809. He was without formal powers 


as an envoy, but his knowledge of the affairs of 
Spain, and his intimate personal acquaintance with 
many of the leading statesmen at Vienna, enabled 
him at once to send home the most exact infor- 
mation of the proceedings, the wants, the wishes, 
and intentions of the Austrian government, in re- 
spect to the impending war. 

That great diversion for Spain, which with in- 
finite pains had been brought to maturity by count 
Stadion, was on the point of being abandoned 
because of Mr. Canning's conduct. He had sent 
no minister to Vienna, and while he was lavishing 
millions upon the Spaniards, without conditions, 
refused in the most haughty and repulsive terms, 
the prayers of Austria for a subsidy or even a loan, 
without which, she could not pass her own frontier. 
And when Mr. Stuart suggested the resource of 
borrowing some of the twenty-five millions of dol- 
lars which were then accumulated at Cadiz, it was 
rejected because Mr. Frere said it would alarm the 
Spaniards. Thus, the aid of a great empire with 
four hundred thousand good troops, was in a man- 
ner rejected in favour of a few miserable self- 
elected juntas in the peninsula, while one-half the 
succours which they received and misused, would 
have sent the whole Austrian nation headlong upon 
France ; for all their landwehr was in arms, and 
where the emperor had only calculated upon one 
hundred and fifty battalions three hundred had 
come forward, voluntarily, besides the Hungarian 
insurrection. In this way Mr. Canning proved his 
narrow capacity for business, and how little he 
knew either the strength of France, the value of 
Austria, the weakness of Spain, or the true in- 


terests of England at the moment; although he chap. 

had not scrupled by his petulant answers to the L_ 

proposals of Erfurth to confirm a war which he was 1811 ' 
so incapable of conducting. Instead of improving 
the great occasion thus offered, he angrily recalled 
Mr. Stuart, for having proceeded to Vienna with- 
out his permission. In his eyes the breach of form 
was of much higher importance than the success 
of the object. Yet it is capable of proof, that had 
Mr. Stuart remained, the A^ustrians would have 
been slower to negotiate after the battle of Wagram ; 
and the Walcheren expedition would have been 
turned towards Germany, where a great northern 
confederation was then ready to take arms against 
France. The Prussian cabinet in defiance of the 
king, or rather of the queen, whose fears in- 
fluenced the king's resolutions, only waited for 
these troops, to declare war ; and there was every 
reason to believe that Russia would then also have 
adopted that side. The misfortunes of Moore's 
campaign, the folly and arrogance of the Spaniards, 
the loss of the great British army which perished 
in Walcheren, the exhausting of England both of 
troops and specie, when she most needed both; 
finally the throwing of Austria entirely, into the 
hands of France, may thus be distinctly traced to 
Mr. Canning's incapacity as a statesman. 

But through the whole of the Napoleonic wars 
this man was the evil genius of the Peninsula ; for 
passing over the misplaced military powers which 
he gave to Mr. Villiers' legation in Portugal, while 
he neglected the political affairs in that country, it 
was he who sent lord Strangford to Rio Janeiro 
whence all manner of mischief flowed. And when 
Mr. Stuart succeeded Mr. Villiers at Lisbon, Mr. 



j?ook Canning insisted upon having the enormous mass 
of intelligence, received from different parts of the 
Peninsula, translated before it was sent home ; an 
act of undisguised indolence, which retarded the 
real business of the embassy, prevented important 
information from being transmitted rapidly, and 
exposed the secrets of the hour to the activity of 
the enemy's emissaries at Lisbon. In after times 
when by a notorious abuse of government he was 
himself sent ambassador to Lisbon, he complained 
that there were no archives of the former embassies, 
and he obliged Mr. Stuart, then minister at the 
Hague, to employ several hundred soldiers, as 
clerks, to copy all his papers relating to the 
previous war ; these, at a great public expense, 
were sent to Lisbon ; and there they were to be 
seen unexamined and unpacked in the year 1826 ! 
And while this folly was passing, the interests of 
Europe in general were neglected, and the parti- 
cular welfare of Portugal seriously injured by 
another display of official importance still more 

It had been arranged that a Portuguese auxiliary 
force was to have joined the duke of Wellington's 
army, previous to the battle of Waterloo ; and to 
have this agreement executed, was the only busi- 
ness of real importance which Mr. Canning had to 
transact during his embassy. Marshal Beresford 
well acquainted with the characters, of the members 
of the Portuguese regency, had assembled fifteen 
thousand men, the flower of the old troops, perfectly 
equipped, with artillery, baggage, and all things 
needful to take the field; the ships were ready, 
the men willing to embark, and the marshal in- 
formed the English ambassador, that he had only to 


give the order, and in a few hours the whole would chap. 
be on board, warning him at the same time, that in ' 
no other way could the thing be effected. But as 1811 - 
this summary proceeding did not give Mr. Canning 
an opportunity to record his own talents for ne- 
gotiation, he replied that it must be done by 
diplomacy; the Souza faction eagerly seized the 
opportunity of displaying their talents in the same 
line, and being more expert, beat Mr. Canning at 
his own weapons, and as Beresford had foreseen 
no troops were embarked at all. Lord Wellington 
was thus deprived of important reinforcements ; the 
Portuguese were deprived of the advantage of 
supporting their army, for several years, on the 
resources of France, and of their share of the 
contributions from that country ; last and worst, 
those veterans of the Peninsular war, the strength 
of the country, were sent to the Brazils, were they 
all perished by disease or by the sword in the 
obscure wars of Don Pedro ! If such errors may 
be redeemed by an eloquence, always used in de- 
fence of public corruption, and a wit, that made 
human sufferings its sport, Mr. Canning was an 
English statesman, and wisdom has little to do with 
the affairs of nations. 

When the issue of the Walcheren expedition 
caused a change of ministry, lord Wellesley obtained 
the foreign office. Mr. Henry Wellesley then re- Appendix, 
placed Mr. Frere at Cadiz, and he and Mr. Stuart Secti©n*2. 
received orders to make conditions and to demand 
guarantees for the due application of the British 
succours ; those succours were more sparingly 
granted, and the envoys were directed to interfere 
with advice and remonstrances, in all the proceed- 
ings of the respective governments to which they 
were accredited : Mr. Stuart was even desired to 


book meddle with the internal administration of the 


. L_ Portuguese nation, — the exertions and sacrifices of 


Great Britain, far from being kept out of sight, 
were magnified, and the system adopted was in 
every thing a contrast to that of Mr. Canning. 

But there was in England a powerful, and as re- 
cent events have proved, a most unprincipled par- 
liamentary opposition, and there were two parties 
in the cabinet. The one headed by lord Wellesley, 
who was anxious to push the war vigorously in 
the Peninsula, without much regard to the ulti- 
mate pressure upon the people of his own country ; 
the other, headed by Mr. Perceval, who sought 
only to maintain himself in power. Narrow, harsh, 
factious, and illiberal, in every thing relating to 
public matters, this man's career was one of un- 
mixed evil. His bigotry taught him to oppress Ire- 
land, but his religion did not deter him from pass- 
ing a law to prevent the introduction of medicines 
into France during a pestilence. He lived by fac- 
tion ; he had neither the wisdom to support, nor 
the manliness to put an end to, the war in the Pe- 
ninsula, and his crooked, contemptible policy Avas 
shown, by withholding what was necessary to sus- 
tain the contest, and throwing on the general the 
responsibility of failure. 

With all the fears of little minds, he and his 
coadjutors awaited the result of lord Wellington's 
operations in 1810. They affected to dread his 
rashness, yet could give no reasonable ground for 
their alarm ; and their private letters were at 
variance with their public instructions, that they 
might be prepared for either event. They deprived 
him, without notice, of his command over the troops 
Appendix, at Cadiz; they gave Graham power to furnish pecu- 
niary succours to the Spaniards at that place, which 


threw another difficulty in the way of obtaining chap. 
money for Portugal ; and when Wellington com- ' 
plained of the attention paid to the unfounded 18U - 
apprehension of some superior officers more imme- 
diately about him, he was plainly told that those 
officers were better generals than himself. At the 
same time he was, from a pitiful economy, ordered 
to dismiss the transports on which the safety of the 
army depended in the event of failure. 

Between these factions there was a constant 
struggle, and lord Wellington's successes in the 
field, only furthered the views of Mr. Perceval, be- 
cause they furnished ground for asserting that due 
support had been given to him. Indeed such a 
result is to be always apprehended by English com- 
manders. The slightest movement in war requires 
a great effort, and is attended with many, vexations, 
which the general feels acutely and unceasingly ; 
but the politician, believing in no difficulties because 
he feels none, neglects the supplies, charges disaster 
on the general, and covers his misdeeds with words. 
The inefficient state of the cabinet under both Mr. 
Canning and Mr. Perceval may however be judged 
of by the following extracts, the writers of which 
as it is easy to perceive were in official situations. 

" I hope by next mail will be sent, something A. 
more satisfactory and useful than we have yet 1 g 1 I ; 
done in the way of instructions. But I am afraid 
the late O. P. riots have occupied all the thoughts 
of our great men here, so as to make them, or at 
least some of them, forget more distant but not less 
interesting concerns." 

" With respect to the eVils you allude to as A. 
arising from the inefficiency of the Portuguese \qh\ 
government, the people here are by no means so 


book satisfied of their existence (to a great degree) as 
1_ you who are on the spot. Here we judge only of 


the results, the details we read over, but being 
unable to remedy forget them the next day; and in 
the mean time be the tools you have to work with 
good or bad, so it is that you have produced re- 
sults so far beyond the most sanguine expectations 
entertained here by all who have not been in Por- 
tugal within the last eight months, that none inquire 
the causes which prevented more being done in a 
shorter time; of which indeed there seems to have 
been a great probability, if the government could 
have stepped forward at an earlier period with one 
hand in their pockets, and in the other strong ener- 
getic declarations of the indispensable necessity of 
a change of measures, and principles, in the go- 
B. "I have done every thing in my power to get 

fan P eo pl e nere to attend to their real interests in Por- 
tugal, and I have clamoured for money! money! 
money ! in every office to which I have had access. 
To all my clamour and all my arguments I have 
invariably received the same answer, ' that the thing 
is impossible' The prince himself certainly appears 
to be a la hauteur des cir Constances, and has ex- 
pressed his determination to make every exertion to 
promote the good cause in the Peninsula. Lord 
Wellesley has a perfect comprehension of the sub- 
ject in its fullest extent, and is fully aware of the 
several measures which Great Britain ought and 
could adopt. But such is the state of parties and 
such the condition of the present government, that 
I really despair of witnessing any decided and 
adequate effect, on our part, to save the Peninsula. 
The present feeling appears to be that we have 


done mighty things, and all that is in our power, chap. 
that the rest must be left to all-bounteous Provi- ! — 

dence, and that if we do not succeed we must s * 
console ourselves by the reflection that Providence 
has not been so propitious to us as we deserved. 
This feeling you must allow is wonderfully moral 
and christian-like, but still nothing will be done 
until we have a more vigorous military system and 
a ministry capable of directing the resources of the 
nation to something nobler than a war of descents 
and embarkations." 

A more perfect picture of an imbecile admini- 
stration could scarcely be exhibited, and it was not 
wonderful, that lord Wellington, oppressed with 
the folly of the peninsular governments, should 
have often resolved to relinquish a contest that was 
one of constant risks, difficulties, and cares, when 
he had no better support from England. In the 
next chapter shall be shewn the ultimate effects of 
Canning's policy in the Spanish and Portuguese 







book As the military operations were, by the defeat 
-of the regular armies, broken into a multitude of 
petty and disconnected actions, so the political 
affairs were, by the species of anarchy which pre- 
vailed, rendered exceedingly diversified and incon- 
gruous. Notwithstanding the restoration of the 
captain-generals, the provincial juntas remained 
very powerful ; and while nominally responsible, to 
the Cortes and the regency, acted independently 
of either, except when interested views urged them 
to a seeming obedience. The disputes that arose 
between them and the generals, who were, for the 
most part, the creatures of the regency, or of the 
Cortes, were constant. In Gallicia, in the Astu- 
rias, in Catalonia, in Valencia, and in Murcia, 
disputes were increasing. Mahi, Abadia, Moscoso, 
Campo Verde, Lacy, Sarsfield, Eroles, Milans, 
Bassecour, Coupigny, Castaiios*, and Blake, were 
always in controversy with each other or with the 
juntas. Palacios dismissed from the regency for 
his high monarchical opinions, was made cap- 
tain-general of Valencia, where he immediately 
joined the church-party against the cortes. In the 
Condado de Niebla the junta of Seville claimed 
superior authority, and Ballesteros of his own 
motion placed the county under martial law. The 



junta, strangely enough, then appealed to colonel c ^| p - 
Austin the British governor of the Algarves, but 


he refused to interfere. Appendix, 

The cortes often annulled the decrees of the section 4. 
regency, and the latter, of whomsoever composed, 
always hating and fearing the cortes, were only 
intent upon increasing their own power, and en- 
tirely neglected the general cause; their conduct was 
at once haughty and mean, violent and intriguing, 
and it was impossible ever to satisfy them. Thus 
confusion was every where perpetuated, and it is 
proved by the intercepted papers of Joseph, as 
well as by the testimony of the British officers, 
and diplomatists, that with the Spaniards, the 
only moral resource left for keeping up the war, 
was their personal hatred of the French, partially ibid. 
called into action by particular oppression. Sir 
John Moore, with that keen and sure judgement 
which marked all his views, had early described 
Spain as being " without armies, generals, or go- 
vernmentT And in 1811, after three years of war, 
lord Wellington complained that " there was no Letter to 

head in Spain, neither generals, nor officers, nor Dumoanea 
,..,./ _ b , , ^ 7 1811.MSS. 

disciplined troops, and no cavalry; that the govern- 
ment had commenced the war without a magazine 
or military resource of any kind, without money or 
financial resource, and that the people at the head of 
affairs were as feeble as their resources were small." 
But the miserable state of the armies and the un- 
quenchable vanity of the officers, have been too fre- 
quently exposed to need further illustration. They 
hated and ill-used the peasantry, while their own 
want of discipline and subordination rendered them 
odious to their country. The poorer people, much 
as they detested the French, almost wished for the 

l 2 



book establishment of Joseph, and all spirit and enthu- 
- siasm had long been extinct. 

The real points of interest affecting England in 
her prosecution of the contest were, therefore, 1°. 
the improvement and the better guidance of the 
military power ; 2°. the preventing a war between 
Portugal and Spain ; 3°. the pretensions of the 
princess Carlotta of Portugal ; 4°. the dispute with 
the American colonies. 

With respect to the first, lord Wellington had 
made strenuous efforts, and his advice, and remon- 
strances, had at times saved the armies in the field 
from destruction ; some partial attempts were also 
made to form troops under British officers in the 
Spanish service, but to a system like that which 
England exercised in Portugal, the leading Spa- 
niards would never listen. This was one result of 
Mr. Canning's impolitic fostering of the Spanish 
pride, for it was by no means apparent that the 
people would have objected to such an arrangement, 
if it had been prudently urged, before the repub- 
lican party in the cortes, and the popular press, had 
filled their minds with alarm upon the subject. The 
Catalans openly and repeatedly desired to have an 
English general, and in 1812 colonel Green did 
organize a small corps there, while Whittingham 
and Roche formed in the Balearic isles large divi- 
sions ; colonel Cox had before proposed a like 
scheme for the north, but it was rejected by lord 
Wellington, and I have been unable to trace any 
important service rendered by those officers with 
their divisions. Their reputation was however 
quite eclipsed by one Downie, who had passed 
from the British commissariat into the Spanish 
service, and the English ministers, taken with his 


boasting- manner, supplied him with uniforms and chap. 

equipments for a body of cavalry, called the Estre 

madura Legion, of such an expensive and absurd 
nature, as to induce a general officer to exclaim on 
seeing them that " he blushed for the folly of his 

When the British ministers found themselves 
unable to deal with the Spanish regulars, they 
endeavoured to prop the war by the irregulars. 
But the increase of this force, which however 
never exceeded thirty thousand men in arms, gave Appendix. 
offence to the regular officers, and amidst these Section 4. 
distractions, the soldiers, ill-organized, ill-fed, and 
quite incapable of moving in the field in large 
bodies, lost all confidence in their generals. 
The latter, as in the case of Freire with the Mur- 
cian army, generally expected to be beaten in every 
action, and cared very little about it, because the 
regency were sure to affirm that they were victo- 
rious; and another of those wandering starved 
naked bands, which they called armies, could be 
formed from new levies in a month. 

The chances of a war with Portugal were by no 
means slight, the early ravages of the Spanish in- 
surgent forces when Junot was in Lisbon, the vio- 
lence of Romana's soldiers, and the burning of the 
village of San Fernando, together with the dis- 
putes between the people of Algarves and the 
Andalusians had revived all the national hatred on 
both sides. The two governments indeed entered 
into a treaty for recruiting in their respective terri- 
tories ; but it was with the utmost difficulty that the 
united exertions of Mr. Stuart and. lord Wellington 
could prevent the Portuguese regency first, and 
afterwards the court of the Brazils, from provoking 


book a war by re-annexing Oliven^a to Portugal, when 

— it was taken from the French by marshal Beresford. 

1811 ' And so little were the passions of these people 
subordinate to their policy that this design was 
formed at the very moment when the princess 
Carlotta, was, strenuously, and with good prospect 
of success, pushing her claim to the regency of 

The intrigues of this princess were constant 
sources of evil ; she laboured against the influence 
of the British at Cadiz, and her agent Pedro 
Souza, proffering gold to vulgar baseness, diamonds 
to delicate consciences, and promises to all, was 
adroit and persevering. In August 1810 a paper 
signed by only one member, but with an intima- 
tion that it contained the sentiments of the whole 
cortes, was secretly given to Mr. Wellesley, as a 
guide for his conduct. It purported that the im- 
possibility of releasing Ferdinand and his brother 
Papers*/ 1 s ^ rom tne i r captivity being apparent, the princess 
MSS - Carlotta should be called to the throne, and it was 
proposed to marry her eldest son, Pedro, to the 
princess of Wales, or some other princess of the 
House of Brunswick, that a " sudden and mortal 
blow might be given to the French empire." Mr. 
Wellesley was also told that a note, of the same 
tendency, would in the first session of the cortes 
be transmitted to the English legation. This, how- 
ever, did not happen, chiefly because Arguelles 
openly and eloquently expressed his reasons against 
the appointment of a royal person as regent, and 
some months later procured a decree, rendering 
such persons ineligible, to pass in the cortes. This 
seemed to quash Carlotta's intrigue, nevertheless 
her pretensions, although continually overborne by 


the English influence, were as continually renewed, chap. 


and often on the point of being publicly ad- 
mitted. 1(m - 

The assumption that it was hopeless to expect 
Ferdinand's release was founded partly on the 
great influence which it was known Napoleon had 
acquired over his mind, and partly on his extreme 
personal timidity, which rendered any attempt to 
release him hopeless. Otherwise there were at Lisbon 
one Francisco Sagas, and his brother, daring men, 
who were only deterred from undertaking the enter- 
prize by a previous experiment made at Bayonne, 
where they had for an hour implored Ferdinand to 
escape, all things being ready, yet in vain, because 
Escoiquez who ruled the prince, and was as timid 
as himself opposed it. To prevent ill effects from 
this well-known weakness, the cortes passed a de- 
cree to render null every act of Ferdinand while in 

These intrigues of Carlotta were, however, of 
minor consequence compared to the conduct of 
the American colonies, which was one of the 
highest interest and importance. The causes and 
the nature of their revolt have been already touched j ^} 9, 
upon, and the violence and injustice of the juntas, 
the regency, and the cortes, with relation to 
them, having been also exposed in a general way, 
need not be repeated here. When the Spanish in- 
surrection first commenced, the leading men of 
Mexico signed a paper which was sent to the 
peninsula in November 1808, urging the imme- 
diate appointment of the duke of Infantado to the 
vice-royalty. He was averse to quitting Spain, 
but his wife persuaded him to consent, provided 
the central junta, just then established, was not 


book opposed to it. Mr. Stuart foreseeing great advan- 

l_tage from this appointment laboured to persuade 

i8ii. ^/[ Y p rere t support it; but the latter, always 
narrow in his views, refused, because Infantado 
was personally disliked in England ! and this, 
joined to the duke's own reluctance, seemed to end 
the matter. Meanwhile the disturbances in the 
colonies went on, and Carlotta of Portugal, urged 
her claim to be regent, and ultimately, queen of 
that country, as well as of Spain ; and her in- 
terests were strongly supported there, until May 
1809, when Cisneros, the Spanish viceroy, arrived 
at Monte Video, and spoiled her schemes. 
Sept. The cry for a free trade with England, was then 
raised by the colonists, and Cisneros assented, but 
under conditions, presenting a curious contrast to 
the affected generosity of Mr. Canning, and afford- 
ing an additional proof how little the latter knew 
the temper of the people he was dealing with. 
After detailing the dangers of his situation from 
the disposition of the colonists to revolt, and the 
impoverishment of the royal treasury in conse- 
quence of the disturbances which had already 
taken place, Cisneros observed that the only mode 
of relief was a temporary permission to trade with 
England for the sake of the duties. Necessity, 
he said, drove him to this measure; he regretted 
it, and directed that the ordinary laws relative to 
the residence of foreigners, most rigorous in them- 
selves, should be most rigorously executed ; and 
he added others of such a nature, that at first 
sight, they appear to be directed against some 
common enemy of mankind, rather than against the 
subjects and vessels of a nation which was then 
supporting the mother-country* with troops and 




treasure in the most prodigal manner. English- chap. 
men were not to be suffered to possess property, 
to have a residence, to keep an hotel, or even to 
remain on shore except for a fixed period. Any pro- 
perty already acquired by them was to be confiscated, 
and when the goods by which he hoped to raise 
his revenue were landed, the owners were not to be 
permitted to have them carried to the warehouses 
by their own sailors ! 

In April 1810 the disposition to revolt spread; 
the Caraccas and Porto Rico declared for inde- 
pendence, and the British governor of Cura^oa 
expressed his approval of their proceedings. This 
naturally gave great jealousy and alarm to the 
Spaniards, who looked upon it as a secret con- 
tinuation of Miranda's affair. Lord Liverpool, 
indeed, immediately disavowed the governor's ma- 
nifesto, but being very desirous to retain the trade, 
to conciliate the Spaniards, and to oblige the 
colonists to acknowledge Ferdinand and oppose 
France, three things incompatible, his policy pro- 
duced no good result. Mexico indeed still re- 
mained obedient in outward appearance, but the 
desire to have Infantado existed, and a strong party 
of the Mexicans even purposed raising him to the 
throne, if Napoleon's success should separate the 
two countries ; but the Spanish regency, with cha- 
racteristic folly, chose this moment to appoint 
Venegas, who was the avowed enemy of Infantado, 
viceroy of Mexico, and thus the revolt was forced 
on in that country also. 

This state of affairs had a bad effect upon the 
war in Spain in many ways. The Spaniards, think- 
ing to retain the colonies by violence, sent out a 


book small squadron at first, and at a later period em- 
ployed the succours received from England, in 

8il * fitting out large expeditions of their best troops ; 
Appendix, an( j t k a ^ w } ien t h e enem y were mos t closely, pres- 
sectioni. s j n ^ t nem [ n the Peninsula. The remonstrances of the 
British on this head were considered as indications 
of a faithless policy ; and Carlotta also wrote to 
Elio, the governor of Buenos Ayres, and to the 
cortes, warning both, to beware of the English as 
" a people capable of any baseness where their 
own interests were concerned." Hence there was 
a prevalent suspicion, that England had a design 
of connecting itself with the colonies indepen- 
dently of Spain, which greatly diminished the 
English influence at Cadiz. 

By this dispute with America the supply of 
specie for the Peninsula was endangered, which in- 
volved the very existence of the war ; all things 
therefore conduced to make lord Wellesley desire 
his brother, Mr. Wellesley, to offer the mediation of 
England, and to please the Spaniards he also removed 
the governor of Cura^oa ; but his plans, like lord Li- 
verpool's, were based upon the desire to preserve the 
trade with the colonies, and this feeling pervaded 
and vitiated his instructions to Mr. Wellesley. 
Lord Wei- That gentleman was directed to enter into a full 
despatch to discussion of the subject, on principles founded on 
Weiios'iey, cordial amitv and Q-ood faith : and to endeavour to 

May, 1811. . . J ° , i -o • • 1 r 

mss. convince the regency that the britisn course ot 
proceeding had hitherto been the best for all par- 
ties. For the primary object being to keep France 
from forming a party in America, the revolted 
colonies had been by England received into an 
amicable intercourse of trade, a measure not in- 



consistent with good faith to Spain, inasmuch as c ^ p - 
the colonists would otherwise have had recourse to 


1 & 1 1 
France, whereas now England was considered by May. 

them as a safe and honourable channel of recon- 
ciliation with the mother-country. There had been, 
it was said, no formal recognition of the self- 
constituted governments, or if any had taken place 
by subordinate officers they would be disavowed. 
Protection and mediation had indeed been offered, 
but the rights of Ferdinand had been supported, 
and as war between Spain and America would only 
injure the great cause, a mediatory policy was 
pressed upon the latter. — The blockade of Buenos 
Ayres and the Caraccas had already diverted money 
and forces from Spain, and driven the Americans to 
seek for French officers to assist them. The trade 
was essential to enable England to continue her 
assistance to Spain, and although this had been 
frequently represented to the regency, the latter 
had sent ships (which had been fitted out in English 
ports and stored at the expense of Great Britain for 
the war with France) to blockade the colonies and 
to cut off the English trade ; and it was done also 
at a moment, when the regency was unable to trans- 
port Blake's army from Cadiz to the Condado di 
Niebla without the assistance of British vessels. 
It was difficult," Lord Wellesley said, " to state an 
instance in which the prejudices and jealousy of 
individuals had occasioned so much confusion of 
every maxim of discretion and good policy, and so 
much danger to the acknowledged mutual interests 
of two great states engaged in a defensive alliance 
against the assaults of a foreign foe :" — " Spain 
could not expect England to concur in a continu- 
ance of a system by which, at her own expense, her 


book trade was injured, and by which Spain was making 


efforts not against the French but against the main 

May! source s of her own strength." 

After these instructions, which were given before 
the constitution of Spain was arranged by the 
cortes, Mr. Wellesley pressed the mediation upon 

June. Mr. Bardaxi the Spanish minister, who agreed to 
accept it upon condition, that Mexico, which had 
not yet declared a form of government, should be 
excepted, — that England should immediately break 
off ail intercourse with the colonies, and, if the 
mediation failed, should assist Spain to reconquer 
them. When the injustice and bad policy of this 
proposition was objected to, Mr. Bardaxi main- 
tained that it was just and politic, and pressed it 
as a secret article ; he however finally offered to 
accept the mediation, if Mr. Wellesley would only 
pledge England to break off the intercourse of trade. 
This was refused, and the negotiation continued, 
but as Bardaxi asserted, that lord Wellington 
had before agreed to the propriety of England 
going to war with the colonies, Mr. Wellesley 
referred to the latter, and that extraordinary man, 
while actually engaged with the enemy, under 
most critical circumstances, was thus called upon to 
discuss so grave and extensive a subject. But it was 
on such occasions that all his power of mind was 
displayed, and his manner of treating this question 
proved, that in political, and even in commercial 
affairs, his reach of thought and enlarged con- 
ceptions, immeasurably surpassed the cabinet he 
served. And when we consider that his opinions, 
stated in 1811, have been since verified in all points 
to the very letter, it is impossible not to be filled 
with admiration of his foresight and judgment. 


" He denied that he had ever given grounds for chap. 

Bardaxi's observation. His opinion had always been L_ 

that Great Britain should follow, as he hoped she j®**' 
had, liberal counsels towards Spain, by laying 
aside, at least during the existence of the war, all 
consideration of merchants' profits. He felt certain 
that such a policy would equally suit her com- 
mercial interests and her warlike policy, as well 
as add greatly to her character. The immediate 
advantages extorted from an open trade with the 
colonies he had always considered ideal. Profit 
was undoubtedly to be made there, and eventually 
the commerce would be very great ; but its value 
must arise from the increasing riches of the colonies 
and the growth of luxury there, and the period 
at which this would happen was more likely to be 
checked than forwarded by the extravagant specu- 
lations of English traders. Whatever might be 
the final particular relations established between 
Spain and her colonies, the general result must be, 
the relaxation, if not the annihilation, of their 
colonial commercial system, and Great Britain was 
then sure to be the greatest gainer. 

" In expectation of this ultimate advantage, her 
policy ought to have been liberal throughout, that 
is, the colonies themselves should have been checked, 
and the endeavours of traders and captains of ships 
to separate them from Spain ought to have been 
repressed. England should, when the colonies first 
showed a disposition to revolt, have considered not 
only what they could do but what Great Britain 
could assist them to effect. His knowledge of the 
Spanish government and its means enabled him to 
say she could not reduce even one of the weakest 
of her colonies, and to make the attempt would be 


book a gross folly and misapplication of means. Nay 
, 1— England could not, in justice to the great object 

j^" in the Peninsula, give Spain any effectual assistance; 
for it was but too true that distant colonies could 
always separate from the mother country when they 
willed it, and certainly it would be the highest 
madness, in Spain, to attempt at that time to 
prevent such a separation by force, and in England, 
to assist, or even encourage her in such an attempt. 
" The conduct of the latter should then have 
been by her influence and advice to have prevented 
the disputes from coming to extremity, and now 
should be to divert Spain from such an absurdity 
as having recourse to violence. But the reception 
of the deputies from America which the Spaniards 
so much complained of, was useful to the latter. 
It prevented those deputies from going to France, 
and if they had gone, the fact, that colonies have 
the power to separate if they have the will, would 
have been at once verified. 

" Great Britain, although late, had at last offered 
that mediation which he wished had been asked for, 
and it remained to consider on what terms it ought 
to be accepted. It would have been better if Spain 
had come forward with an explicit declaration of 
what her intentions towards the colonies in respect 
to constitution and commerce were. England could 
then have had something intelligible to mediate 
upon ; but now Spain only desired her to procure 
the submission of Buenos Ayres and the Caraccas ; 
and if she failed in that impracticable object she 
was to aid Spain in forcing them to submission ! 
and he, lord Wellington, was said to have approved 
of this ! One would really, he exclaimed, believe 
that Mr. Bardaxi has never adverted to the means 


and resources of his own country, to the object chap. 


they have acquired at home, nor to the efforts 
making by England in the Peninsula ; and that he J®**' 
imagines I have considered these facts as little as 
he appears to have done ! Great Britain cannot 
agree to that condition ! 

" In respect to constitution" (alluding to the 
acknowledgement of the civil rights of the Americans p ' 
by the " the Spaniards had gone a great 
way, but not so far as some of her colonies would 
require, they would probably ask her to have se- 
parate local representative bodies for their interior 
concerns, such as the English colonial assemblies, 
yet this important point had not been considered 
in the treaty of mediation, and in respect of com- 
merce the Spanish government had said nothing; 
although it was quite certain her prohibitory system 
could not continue, and the necessary consequence 
of the actual state of affairs required that in the 
treaty of mediation the colonies should be put, with 
respect to trade, exactly on the same footing as the 
provinces of Old Spain. If that was not done it 
would be useless to talk to the colonists of equal 
rights and interests ; they would feel that their 
interests were sacrificed to those of the mother 

" It was true that the latter would lose im- 
mediately, though probably not eventually, very 
largely in revenue and commercial profit by such a 
concession. This was the unavoidable result of 
the circumstances of the times, she had therefore 
a fair claim to participate in the advantages the 
colonies would enjoy from it. To this object the 
treaty of mediation should have adverted. Spain 
should have confidentially declared to Great Britain 


book her intended course, what system she would follow, 

XI v 

what duties impose, and what proportion she would 
1811. demand for general imperial purposes. Upon such 
materials England might have worked with a 
prospect of permanently maintaining the integrity 
of the Spanish empire on just and fair principles ; 
or at all events have allayed the present disputes 
and so removed the difficulties they occasioned in 
the Peninsula, and in either case have insured her 
own real interests. Spain had however taken a 
narrow view both of her own and the relative 
situation of others, and if she did not enlarge, it, 
matters would grow worse and worse. It would be 
useless for England to interfere, and after a long 
contest which would only tend to weaken the mother 
country and deprive her of the resources which she 
would otherwise find in the colonies for her war with 
France, the business would end in the separation of 
the colonies from Spain." 

The mediation was, however, after many dis- 
cussions, finally accepted by the cortes, Mexico only 
being excepted, and an English commission of medi- 
ation, of which Mr. Stuart was the head, was even 
appointed in September 1811, but from various 
causes it never proceeded beyond Cadiz. The 
Spaniards continued to send out expeditions, Mr. 
Wellesley's remonstrances were unheeded, and al- 
though the regency afterwards offered to open the 
trade under certain duties, in return for a subsidy, 
nothing was concluded. 




The power and crafty projects of the Souzas, chap. 



their influence over their weak-minded prince, 
their cabal to place the duke of Brunswick at the 
head of the Portuguese army, the personal violence 
of the patriarch, the resignation of Das Minas, 
and the disputes with lord Wellington, have been v i. in. 
already touched upon ; but the extent of the diffi- 
culties engendered by those things, cannot be un- 
derstood without a more detailed exposition. 

Mr. Villiers's mission, like all those emanating 
from Mr. Canning, had been expensive in style, 
tainted by intrigues, useless in business, and pro- 
ductive of disorders. When Mr. Stuart arrived, 
he found every thing, except the army under Feb.isio. 
Beresford, in a state of disorganization ; and the 
influence of England was decreasing, because of 
the vacillating system hitherto pursued by the 
British government. As early as 1808 lord Wel- 
lington had advised the ministers not only to adopt 
Portugal as the base of operations in the Peninsula, 
but to assume in reality the whole administration of 
that country ; to draw forth all its resources, both 
of men and money, and to make up any deficiency, 
by the power of England. This advice had been 
neglected, and an entirely different policy pursued, 
which, in execution, was also feeble and uncertain. 

VOL. iv. m 



book The Portuguese constitution, like most of those 
springing from the feudal system" , was excellent in 
theory, as far as regarded the defence of the king- 
dom : but it was overwhelmed with abuses in 
practice ; and it was a favourite maxim with the 
authorities that it did not become a paternal go- 
vernment to punish neglect in the subordinates. 
When court intrigues were to be effected, or poor 
men to be oppressed, there was no want of vigour 
or of severity ; but in all that regarded the admi- 
stration of affairs, it was considered sufficient to 
give orders without looking to their execution, and 
no animadversion, much less punishment, followed 
disobedience. The character of the government 
was extreme weakness ; the taxes, partially levied, 
produced only half their just amount ; the pay- 
ments from the treasury were in arrears ; the army 
was neglected in all things dependent on the civil 
administration, and a bad navy was kept up, at an 
expense of a quarter of a million, to meet a war with 
Algiers. This last question was, however, a knife 
with a double edge, for in peace, a tribute paid in 
coin, drained the treasury already too empty, and in 
war the fleet did nothing ; meanwhile the feeding 
of Cadiz was rendered precarious by it ; and of 
Lisbon also, for the whole produce of Portugal was 
only equal to four months' consumption. In com- 
mercial affairs, the usual peninsular jealousy was 
displayed ; the imports of British goods were pro- 
hibited to the advantage of smugglers only, while 
the government which thus neglected its own re- 
sources to the injury of both countries, clamoured 
for subsidies. Finally, the power of the Souzas 
was so great, and the regency was so entirely sub- 
servient to them, that although Mr. Stuart had 



been assured by Mr. Canning, that a note forbidding chap. 
Domingo Souza to meddle with affairs at Lisbon, - 
had been procured from the Brazils, all represen- 
tations, to the regency, were met by references 
to that nobleman, who was in London, and the 
business of the mission was thus paralysed. 

In March 1809 the British government had taken 
ten thousand Portuguese troops into pay. In May 
they were increased to twenty thousand, and in 
June to thirty thousand. The cost of these forces, 
and the increased pay to Portuguese officers, added 
to the subsidy, amounted to two millions sterling; 
but this subsidy partly from negligence, partly 
from the exhaustion of England in consequence of 
Mr. Canning's prodigal donations to Spain, was in 
arrears. However, as this mode of proceeding was 
perfectly in unison with their own method, the 
regency did not much regard it, but they were 
eager to obtain a loan from England, in the dis- 
posal of which they would have been quite un- 
controlled, and for this very reason lord Wellington 
strenuously opposed it. In revenge, the regency, 
by a wilful misunderstanding of the debates of par- 
liament, and by the distortion of facts, endeavoured 
to throw a doubt upon the sincerity of England, 
and this, with the encouragement given to all Por- 
tuguese malcontents by the Whigs, whose clamour, 
just, as applied to the ministers, was unjustly 
extended to the generals, greatly increased the 
disorder of the times. 

In this state of affairs Mr. Canning being hap- 
pily removed from office, lord Wellesley, who suc- 
ceeded him, changed the instructions of the diplo- 
matic agents in the Peninsula. They were now 
directed to make conditions with respect to the 

m 2 



book succours, and in Portugal they were vigorously to 
- interfere in all civil changes, augmentations of re- 
venue, and military resources; and even to demand 
monthly reports of the condition of the army, and 
the expenditure of the subsidy. Lord Wellesley 
also, thinking that the example of a cortes in 
Spain, might create a desire for a more temperate 
government in Portugal, was prepared to forward 
such a change, provided old forms were preserved, 
and that all appeared to flow from the prince re- 
gent, whose consent he undertook to secure. Re- 
sistance to the enemy, he said, would be in propor- 
tion to the attachment of the people, and hence it 
was advisable to make timely concessions, giving 
however no more than was absolutely necessary. 

The regency were strongly opposed to this notion 
of a cortes, and Mr. Suart and lord Wellington 
affirmed, and truly, that the docility of the people, 
and their hatred of the French, were motives pow- 
erful enough, without any other stimulus, to urge 
them to action. Thus the project fell to the 
ground, and the time was perhaps inconvenient to 
effect a revolution of this nature, which the people 
themselves certainly did not contemplate, and which, 
as Spain had shewn, was not a certain help to the 
war. Lord Wellington, who only considered what 
would conduce to the success of the war, was there- 
fore consistent upon this occasion, but it is curious 
to observe the course of the English cabinet. The 
enforcement in France of a military conscription, 
authorized by the laws, was an unheard-of oppres- 
sion on the part of Napoleon ; but in Portugal a 
conscription, enforced by foreigners, was a wise 
and vigorous measure ; and lord Wellesley admit- 
ting that the Portuguese government had been 



harsh and oppressive, as well as weak and capri- chap. 
cious, was content to withhold a better system 
from the people, expressly because they loved their 
country and were obedient subjects ; for he would 
have readily granted it to them if they had been 
unruly and of doubtful patriotism. 

Mr. Stuart in concert with lord Wellington 
diligently endeavoured to remedy the evils of 
the hour, but whenever he complained of any par- 
ticular disorder, he was, by the regency, offered 
arbitrary power to punish, which being only an ex- 
pedient to render the British odious to the people 
he refused. The intrigues of the Fidalgos then 
became apparent, and the first regency was broken 
up in 1810. The marquis of Das Minas retired 
from it under the pretext of ill health, but really 
because he found himself too weak to support Mr. 
De Mello, a Fidalgo officer, who was thrust forward 
to oppose the legal authority of marshal Beresford. 
Mr. Cypriano Freire was then made minister of 
finance, and of foreign affairs, and Mr. Forjas secre- 
tary-at-war, with a vote in the regency on matters 
of war. But the former soon after Mr. Stuart's 
arrival resigned his situation in consequence of 
some disgust, and the Conde Redondo, having 
undertaken the office, commenced, with the advice of 
Mr. Stuart, a better arrangement of the taxes, espe- 
cially the " decima" or income tax, which was nei- 
ther impartially nor strictly enforced on the rich 
towns, nor on the powerful people of the Fidalgo 
faction. The clergy also evaded the imposts, and 
the British merchants, although profiting enor- 
mously from the war, sought exemption under the 
factory privileges, not only from the taxes, which 
in certain cases they could legally do, but from the 


book billets, and from those recruiting laws affecting 

their servants, which they could not justly demand, 

and which all other classes in the community were 
liable to. 

The working of the Souzas, in the Brazils, 
where the minister of finance wished to have the 
regulation of the Portuguese treasury under his 
control, soon changed this arrangement. Freire's 
resignation was not accepted, Redondo was ex- 
cluded from the government, and Forjas, who was 
the most efficient member of the government, was 
deprived of his functions. The remaining mem- 
bers then proposed to fill up Das Minas' vacancy 
themselves, but this was resisted by lord Welling- 
ton, on the ground, that, without the prince's order, 
the proceeding would be illegal, and involve the 
regency in an indefensible quarrel at the Brazils. 
The order for removing Redondo, and cramping the 
utility of Forjas, he, in concert with Mr. Stuart, 
withstood ; and this, for the moment, prevented a 
change, which would have impeded the ameliora- 
tions begun. Such, however, was the disorder in 
the finances, that Mr. Stuart proposed, as the least 
difficult mode of arranging them, to take the whole 
direction himself, England becoming answerable for 
the expenditure of the country ; lord Wellington 
thought this could not be done, without assuming, 
at the same time, the whole government of the 
country, which he had previously proposed to the 
-British cabinet, but which it was now too late to 
attempt, and Mr. Stuart's project fell to the ground. 
Another spring of mischief soon bubbled up, lord 
Strangford, whose diplomatic dexterity evinced by 
his Bruton-street despatch, had been rewarded by 
the situation of minister at the Brazils, was there 



bestirring himself. It had been the policy of Mr. c ^ap. 

Stuart and the English general, to keep the regency 

permanent, and to support the secretariats as they 
were placed in the hands of Mr. de Forjas and the 
Conde de Redondo ; for these men had been found 
by experience, to be better qualified to co-operate 
with the British authorities than any other persons, 
and hence lord Wellington had resisted the prince's 
orders for Cypriano Freire's resumption of office, and 
had continued the functions of Forjas and Redondo, 
until his own remonstrances could reach the Brazils. 
In this state of affairs lord Strangford informed Mr. 
Stuart that he had persuaded the prince to accede 
to the following propositions. ]°. That the British 
plenipotentiary at Lisbon, the count Redondo, 
doctor Nogueras, and the principal Souza, should 
be added to the old regency. 2°. That admiral 
Berkeley should be naval commander-in-chief. 
3°. That all traitorous correspondence should be 
prevented, and that measures should be taken to 
limit the exuberant power assumed by subordinates. 
This last article was directed against Forjas, and 
the whole went to establish the preponderance of 
the Souza faction. The only useful part was the 
appointment of Mr. Stuart to the regency, but this 
was arranged before it was known that Mr. Villiers 
had been recalled, and consequently had the same 
object of favouring the Souzas in view. 

Mr. Stuart and lord Wellington strongly objected 
to this change, although they submitted to it as 
not wishing to appear regardless of the prince 
regent's rights. Mr. Stuart, however, reflecting 
that a government composed of men having dif- 
ferent views and feelings, and without any easting 
vote, the number being even, could not go on use- 



book fully, was at first averse to join the regency, but 
_ was finally persuaded to do so by lord Wellington, 
who justly considered that his presence there would 
give the only chance of success. 

Doctor Nogueras' appointment was described, by 
lord Strangford, as a tribute to democracy, the 
object being to counteract the power of those very 
secretariats which lord Wellington and Mr. Stuart 
were labouring to preserve. But lord Strangford 
prided himself chiefly upon the appointment of the 
principal Souza, who, he said, had been recom- 
mended to him by Mr. Villiers, an avowal of great 
import, as shewing at once the spirit of the new 
arrangement : for this Souza had, in a subordinate 
situation, hitherto opposed every proceeding of the 
British in Portugal ; he was the avowed enemy of 
Beresford, the contriver of all confusion, and the 
most mischievous person in Portugal ; and his ab- 
sence from that country was so desirable, that inti- 
mations to that effect had been formally given to 
him, by lord Wellesley, through Mr. Stuart. This 
factious person was now, however, armed with 
additional power, to thwart the English authorities 
in Portugal, and thus lord Strangford's diplomacy 
tended, in effect, to ruin that cause which he had 
been sent to the Brazils to support. 

In relating these proceedings I have, following 
his own letter, announcing the change, described 
lord Strangford as acting voluntarily ; but in a sub- 
sequent despatch he affirmed, that it was under 
Mr. Canning's instructions, he had pressed for this 
incorporating of the British minister in the regency, 
and that Nogueras' appointment sprang entirely 
from the prince regent's own will, which he did 
not choose to oppose. In like manner, when lord 


Wellesley was intent upon assembling a cortes, chap. 

lord Strangford called it "a great and essential IV> 

measure strongly and wisely urged by the govern- 1811 - 
ment" and yet afterwards acknowleged that he 
neglected to press it, because he thought it u useless 
and even hurtful" which inconsistency renders it 
difficult to determine on whom these affairs rested. 
As affecting Mr. Canning's policy, however, it is 
to be observed that if he originally arranged this 
change, his object was to put Mr. Villiers in the 
regency, not with any view to the more complete 
controul of Portugal for the purposes of war, but, 
as the instructions to sir John Cradock prove, to seeVoi.n. 
ensure a preponderance to the diplomatic depart- A PP endlx - 
ment over the military in that country. 

The principal reforms, in the administration, 
which had been sought for by lord Wellington, 
were a better arrangement of the financial system 
— the execution of the laws without favour to the 
fidalgos — the suppression of the " junta di viveres" 
a negligent and fraudulent board, for which he 
wished to establish a Portuguese commissariat — the 
due supply of provisions and stores, for the national 
troops and fortresses — the consolidation of the 
arsenal department under one head — the formation 
of a military chest, distinct from the treasury, 
which was always diverting the funds to other 
purposes — the enforcing of the regulations about 
the means of transport — the repairs of the roads 
and bridges — the reformation of the hospitals — the 
succouring of the starving people, and the revival 
of agriculture in the parts desolated by the war. 

These things he had hoped to accomplish; but from 
the moment the change effected by lord Strangford 
took place, unceasing acrimonious disputes ensued 


book between the British commander and the Portuguese 

1_ government, and no species of falsehood or intrigue, 

181 1 - not even personal insult, and the writing of anony- 
mous threatening letters, were spared by the Souza 
faction. In the beginning of 1811 they had or- 
ganized an anti-English party, and a plot was laid 
to force the British out of the country, which 
would have succeeded if less vigilance had been 
used by Mr. Stuart, or less vigour of control by lord 
Wellington. This plot however required that the 
patriarch should go to the northern provinces, a 
journey which the envoy always dexterously pre- 

The first complaint of the British authorities, 
accompanied with a demand for the removal of the 
principal Souza, reached the Brazils in February 
1811, and Das Minas died about the same time; 
but so strongly was the faction supported at Rio 
May. Janeiro, that in May, the prince regent expressed his 
entire approval of the Souzas' proceedings and his 
high displeasure with Forjas and Mr. Stuart. His 
minister, the Conde de Linhares, wrote, that the 
capture of Massena with his whole army, which 
he expected to hear of each day, would not make 
amends for the destruction of the country during 
the retreat of the allies ; and in an official note to 
lord Strangford, he declared, that the prince regent 
could not permit Mr. Stuart to vote in matters con- 
cerning the internal government of the kingdom, 
because he was influenced by, and consulted persons 
suspected of disaffection, which expression lord 
Strangford said referred solely to Forjas. 

The prince himself also wrote to lord Wellington, 
accusing Mr. Stuart of acting separately from the 
commander-in-chief, and of being the cause of all 


the factions which had sprung up, and he declared ohap. 

that he would not remove Souza, unless Mr. Stuart 

was recalled. He desired that Forjas, who he May 
affirmed to be the real author of the opposition 
complained of by the British, should be sent to 
the Brazils, to answer for his conduct ; and finally 
he announced his intention to write in a like strain 
to the king of England. To this lord Wellington 
answered that finding his conduct disapproved and 
Souza's applauded, he proposed to quit Portugal. June. 
Forjas immediately sent in his resignation, admiral 
Berkeley proposed to do the same, and Mr. Stuart 
withdrew from the council until the pleasure of his 
own cabinet should be made known : the war was 
then on the point of finishing, but the crisis was 
not perceived by the public, because the resolution 
of the English general was kept secret, to avoid 
disturbing the public mind, and in the hopes of 
submission on the part of the prince. 

Meanwhile other embarrassments were super- 
added, of a nature to leave the English general 
little hope of being able to continue the contest, 
should he even defeat the intrigues at Rio Janeiro ; 
for besides the quarrel with the Souza faction, in 
which he and Mr. Stuart supported Forjas, No- 
gueira, -and Redondo, against their enemies in the 
Brazils, these very persons, although the best that 
could be found, and men of undoubted ability, 
influenced partly by national habits, partly by fears 
of ultimate consequences, continually harassed him 
in the execution of the details belonging to their 
offices. No delinquent was ever punished, no 
fortress ever stored in due time and quantity, the 
suffering people were uncared for, disorders were 
unrepressed, the troops were starved, and the fa- 




book vouring of the fidalgos constant. The "junta de 
-viveres" was supported, the formation of a military 
chest, and commissariat, delayed ; many wild and 
foolish schemes daily broached ; and the natural 
weakness of the government was, by instability, 
increased, because the prince regent had early in 
1811 intimated an intention of immediately returning 
to Europe. 

I have said that it was a favourite maxim with 
the regency that a paternal government should not 
punish delinquents in the public service, and they 
added to this another still more absurd, namely, 
that the Portuguese troops could thrive under pri- 
vations of food, which would kill men of another 
nation ; with these two follies they excused neglect, 
whenever the repetition, that there had been no 
neglect, became fatiguing to them. Besides this, 
collisions between the British commissariat and the 
"junta de viveres" were frequent and very hurtful, 
because the former able to outbid, and more in fear 
of failure, overbought the latter; this contracted the 
already too small sphere of their activity, and lord 
Wellington was prevented feeding the whole Portu- 
guese army himself by a curious obstacle. His prin- 
cipal dependance for the support of his own troops 
was upon the Spanish muleteers attached to the 
army, they were the very life and sustenance of 
the war, and their patience, hardiness, and fidelity 
to the British were remarkable ; but they so ab- 
horred the Portuguese people that they would not 
carry provisions for their soldiers, and lord Wel- 
lington only obtained their services, for those 
brigades which were attached to the English di- 
visions, by making them think the food was entirely 
for the latter. Upon such nice management even 



in apparently trifling matters did this war depend, chap. 
And yet it is not uncommon for politicians, versed 
only in the classic puerilities of public schools, and 
the tricks of parliamentary faction, to hold the 
rugged experience of Wellington's camp as nothing 
in the formation of a statesman. 

The effects of these complicated affairs were soon 
and severely felt. Abrantes had like to have been 
abandoned, from want, at the time Massena held 
Santarem, and the Portuguese troops were starved 
during that general's retreat ; Beresford's operations 
in the Alemtejo were impeded, and his hospitals 
were left without succour ; at Fuentes Onoro am- 
munition failed, and the Portuguese artillery were 
forced to supply themselves by picking up the 
enemy's bullets ; the cavalry of that nation were 
quite ruined, and out of more than forty thousand 
regular troops, formed by Beresford, only nineteen 
thousand were to be found under arms after the 
battle of Albuera, the rest had deserted or died 
from extreme want. 

When Massena retreated the provincial organi- 
zation of the country was restored, and to encourage 
the people to sow the devastated districts before the 
season passed, Mr. Stuart had furnished seed corn on 
the credit of the coming subsidy ; an amnesty for 
deserters was also published, the feudal imposts for 
the year were remitted, and fairs were established to 
supply tools of husbandry ; butnotwithstanding these 
efforts, such was the distress, that at Caldas eighty 
persons died daily, and at Figueras where twelve 
thousand people, chiefly from Portuguese Estrema- 
dura, had taken refuge, the daily deaths were above 
a hundred, and the whole would have perished but 
for the active benevolence of major Von Linstow, an 



[cook officer of general Trant's staff. Meanwhile the 
xiv. ° 

country was so overrun with robbers that the de- 
tached officers could not travel in safety upon 
the service of the army, and Wellington was 
fearful of being obliged to employ his troops 
against them. British officers were daily insulted 
at Lisbon, and even assassinated while on duty 
with impunity ; the whole army was disgusted, the 
letters to England were engendering in that country 
a general dislike to the war, and the British soldiers, 
when not with their regiments, committed a thousand 
outrages on the line of operations. 

As a climax to these scenes of misery and 
mischief, the harvest which had failed in Portugal, 
failed also in England ; and no corn was to be got 
from the Baltic because there was no specie to pay 
for it, and bills were refused. Hence the famine 
spread in a terrible manner until Mr. Stuart ob- 
tained leave to license fifty American vessels with 
corn, whose cargoes were paid for out of funds 
provided partly by the charity of the people of 
England, and partly by a parliamentary grant 
which passed when Massena retreated. 

In this crisis the British cabinet granted an 
additional subsidy to Portugal, but from the scarcity 
of specie, the greatest part of it was paid in kind, 
and the distress of the regency for money was 
scarcely lessened; for these supplies merely stood 
in the place of the plunder which had hitherto 
prevailed in the country. Thus Mr. Canning's 
prodigality, Mr. Vansittart's paper system, and 
Mr. Perceval's economy, all combined to press upon 
the British general, and to use his own words, he 
was supplied with only one-sixth part of the money 
necessary to keep the great machine going which 


had been set in motion. Mr. Perceval however, in oh^p. 
answer to his remonstrances, employed a secretary of 

the Treasury to prove in a laboured paper, founded 
entirely upon false data, that the army had been 
over-supplied, and must have money to spare. But 
that minister, whose speeches breathed nothing 
but the final destruction of France, designed to 
confine the efforts of England to the defence of 
Portugal alone, without any regard to the rest of 
the Peninsula. 

Amongst the other follies of the Portuguese 
regency was a resolution to issue proclamations, 
filled with bombastic adulation of themselves, 
vulgar abuse of the French, and altogether un- 
suited to the object of raising the public feeling, 
which flagged under their system. To the Eng- 
lish general's remonstrances on this head, Forjas 
replied, that praise of themselves and abuse of the 
French, was the national custom, and could not 
be dispensed with ! a circumstance which certain 
English writers who have implicitly followed the 
accounts of the Portuguese authors, such as Accur- 
sio de Neves, and men of his stamp, relative to 
French enormities, would do well to consider. And 
here it is right to observe, that so many complaints 
were made of the cruelty committed by Massena's 
army while at Santarem, that lord Wellington had 
some thoughts of reprisals ; but having first caused Mr. sm- 
strict inquiry to be made, it was discovered that in pers S ,Mss. 
most cases, the ordenanca, after having submitted to 
the French, and received their protection, took ad- 
vantage of it to destroy the stragglers and small 
detachments, and the cruelty complained of was 
only the infliction of legitimate punishment for such 
conduct : the projected retaliation was therefore 



book changed for an injunction to the ordenancas to cease 

'— from such a warfare. 

The character of the regency was, however, most 
openly shewn in their proceedings connected with 
the convention of Cintra. All the advantages which 
that treaty ensured to Portugal, they complacently 
, reaped, but overlooked or annulled those points in 
which the character of England was concerned. 
In violation of the convention, and in despite of the 
remonstrances of lord Wellington and Mr. Stuart, 
they cast the French residents at Lisbon into loath- 
some dungeons, without any cause of complaint ; 
and in the affair of Mascarhenas their conduct was 
distinguished alike by wanton cruelty and useless 
treachery. This youth, when only fifteen, had with 
many others entered the French service in Junot's 
time, under the permission of his own prince ; and 
he and the Conde de Sabugal, were taken by the 
peasantry in 1810 endeavouring to pass from 
Massena's army into Spain, Sabugal in uniform, 
Mascarhenas in disguise. They were both tried as 
traitors. The first, a general officer, and with power- 
ful friends amongst the Fidalgos, was acquitted, as 
indeed was only just: but he was then appointed 
to a situation under the regency, which was dis- 
graceful, as arising from faction : Mascarhenas was 
a boy, and had no powerful friends, and he was 
condemned to death. Lord Wellington and Mr. 
Stuart represented the injustice of this sentence, 
and they desired that if humanity was unheeded the 
government would put him to death as a spy, for 
being in disguise, and so prevent the danger of 
reprisals, already threatened by Massena. The 
young man's mother and sisters, grovelling in the 
dust, implored the regency to spare him, but to 



shew their hatred of lord Wellington and Mr. chap. 

Stuart, for the disputes with the regency were ! 

then highest, the government told the miserable 
women, that it was the British general and minister 
who demanded his death, and they were sent, with 
this brutal falsehood, to weep and to ask grace from 
persons who had no power to grant it. Mascarhenas 
was publicly executed as a traitor, for entering the 
French service under the authority of his native 
prince, while Sabugal was acquitted, and even 
rewarded, although precisely in the same circum- 
stances, when the excuse of the disguise had been 

In 1810 one Corea, calling himself an aide-de- 
camp of Massena, was likewise seized in disguise 
within the British lines, and, having given useful 
information, was by lord Wellington confined in St. 
Julians, to protect him from the Portuguese govern- 
ment. After a time he became deranged, and was 
released, whereupon the regency, rather than keep 
him, desired that he might be sent as a prisoner 
of war to England ; thus for convenience admit- 
ting the very principle which they had rejected 
when only honour and humanity were concerned. 
A process against the marquis d'Alorna had also 
been commenced, but his family being powerful 
it was soon dropped, and yet the government 
refused madame d'Alorna leave to join her husband, 
thus shewing themselves spiteful and contemptible 
as well as cowardly and bloody. Even the court 
of Brazil was shocked. The prince rebuked the 
regency severely for the death of Mascarhenas, re- 
versed the sentences on some others, and banished 
Sabugal to Terceira. 

This was the political state of Portugal. 



book Lord Liverpool's intimation, that neither corn nor 


specie could be had from England, threw lord 
May Wellington on his own resources for feeding his 
troops. He had before created a paper money by- 
means of commissariat bills, which, being paid 
regularly at certain periods, passed current with 
the people when the national bonds called " Apo- 
locies" were at an enormous discount. He now 
in concert with Mr. Stuart, entered into com- 
merce to supply his necessities. For having ascer- 
tained that grain in different parts of the world, 
especially in South America, could be bought by 
bills, cheaper than it sold for hard cash in Lisbon ; 
and that in Egypt, although only to be bought with 
specie, it was at a reduced price ; they employed 
mercantile agents to purchase it for the army ac- 
count, and after filling the magazines sold the 
overplus to the inhabitants. This transaction was, 
however, greatly impeded by the disputes with 
North America, which were now rapidly hastening 
to a rupture ; the American ships which frequented 
the Tagus being prevented by the non- importation 
act from bringing back merchandize, were forced to 
demand coin, which helped to drain the country of 

As Mr. Stuart could obtain no assistance from 
the English merchants of Lisbon, to aid him 
in a traffic which interfered with their profits, he 
wrote circular letters to the consuls in the Medi- 
terranean, and in the Portuguese islands, and to the 
English minister at Washington, desiring them to 
negotiate treasury bills ; to increase the shipments 
of corn to Lisbon, and pay with new bills, to be in- 
vested in such articles of British manufacture as 
the non-importation law still permitted to go to 


America. By this complicated process he con- chap. 


trived to keep something in the military chest ; 
and this commerce, which lord Wellington truly l ^y 
observed, was not what ought to have occupied his 
time and attention, saved the army, and the people, 
when the proceedings of Mr. Perceval would have 
destroyed both. Yet it was afterwards cavilled at 
and censured by the ministers, on the representa- 
tions of the merchants who found their exorbitant 
gains interrupted by it. 

Pressed by such accumulated difficulties, and not 
supported in England as he deserved, the general, 
who had more than once intimated his resolution to 
withdraw from the Peninsula, now seriously thought 
of executing it. Yet when he considered, that the 
cause was one even of more interest to England 
than to the Peninsula ; that the embarrassments of 
the French might be even greater than his own, and 
that Napoleon himself, gigantic as his exertions 
had been, and were likely to be, was scarcely aware 
of the difficulty of conquering the Peninsula while 
an English army held Portugal; when he con- 
sidered also, that light was breaking in the north 
of Europe, that the chances of war are many, even 
in the worst of times, and above all, when his 
mental eye caught the beams of his own coming 
glory, he quelled his rising indignation, and re- 
tempered his mighty energies to bear the buffet of 
the tempest. 

But he could not remove the obstacles that 
choked his path, nor could he stand still, lest the 
ground should open beneath his feet. If he 
moved in the north, Marmont's army and the 
army under Bessieres were ready to oppose him, 
and he must take Ciudad Rodrigo or blockade it 

n 2 


book before he could even advance against them. To 
- * take that place required a battering-train, to be 

^j** 1, brought up through a mountainous country from 
Lamego, and there was no covering position for 
the army during the siege. To blockade and pass 
it, would so weaken his forces, already inferior 
to the enemy, that he could do nothing effectual ; 
meanwhile Soult would have again advanced 
from Llerena, and perhaps have added Elvas to his 
former conquests. 

To act on the defensive in Beira, and follow up 
the blow against Soult, by invading Andalusia, in 
concert with the Murcians and the corps of Blake, 
Beguines, and Graham, while Joseph's absence para- 
lysed the army of the centre; while the army of Por- 
tugal was being reorganized in Castile ; and while 
Suchet was still engaged with Taragona, would have 
been an operation suitable to lord Wellington's fame 
and to the circumstances of the moment. But then 
Badajos must have been blockaded with a corps pow- 
erful enough to have defied the army of the centre, and 
the conduct of the Portuguese government had so re- 
duced the allied forces, that this would not have left 
a sufficient army to encounter Soult. Hence, after 
the battle of Albuera, the only thing to be done, 
was to renew the siege of Badajos, which, besides 
its local interest, contained the enemy's bridge 
equipage and battering train ; but which, on com- 
mon military calculations, could scarcely be ex- 
pected to fall before Soult and Marmont would 
succour it : yet it was only by the taking of that 
town that Portugal itself could be secured beyond 
the precincts of Lisbon, and a base for further 
operations obtained. 

According to the regular rules of art, Soult 


should have been driven over the mountains before chap. 

the siege was begun, but there was no time to do 


this, and Marmont was equally to be dreaded on the M ' 
other side ; wherefore lord Wellington could only try, 
as it were, to snatch away the fortress from between 
them, and he who, knowing his real situation, cen- 
sures him for the attempt, is neither a general nor 
a statesman. The question was, whether the at- 
tempt should be made or the contest in the Peninsula 
be resigned. It failed, indeed, and the Peninsula 
was not lost, but no argument can be thence de- 
rived, because it was the attempt, rather than the 
success, which was necessary to keep the war alive ; 
moreover the French did not push their advantages 
as far as they might have done, and the unforeseen 
circumstance of a large sum of money being brought 
to Lisbon, by private speculation, at the moment of 
failure, enabled the English general to support the 




book There is no operation in war so certain as a 
XIV< modern siege, provided the rules of art are strictly 

i** 11 - followed, but, unlike the ancient sieges in that par- 
ticular, it is also different in this ; that no operation 
is less open to irregular daring, because the course 
of the engineer can neither be hurried nor delayed 
without danger. Lord Wellington knew that a siege 
of Badajos, inform, required longer time, and better 
means, than were at his disposal, but he was forced 
to incur danger and loss of reputation, which is 
loss of strength, or to adopt some compendious 
mode of taking that place. The time that he could 
command, and time is in all sieges the greatest 
point, was precisely that which the French required 
to bring up a force sufficient to disturb the opera- 
tion ; and this depended on the movements of the 
army of Portugal, whose march from Salamanca to 
Badajos, by the pass of Bafios, or even through 
that of Gata, could not be stopped by general 
Spencer, because the mouths of those defiles were 
commanded by Marmont's positions. It was possi- 
ble also at that season, for an army to pass the 
Tagus by fords near Alcantara, and hence more than 
twenty days of free action against the place were 
not to be calculated upon. 

Now the carriages of the battering guns used in 


Beresford's siege were so much damaged, that the chap. 

artillery officers asked eleven days to repair them ; - — — 
and the scanty means of transport for stores was M ' 
much diminished by carrying the wounded from 
Albuera to the different hospitals. Thus more than 
fifteen days of open trenches, and nine days of fire 
could not be expected. With good guns, plentiful 
stores, and a corps of regular sappers and miners, 
this time would probably have sufficed ; but none of 
these things were in the camp, and it was a keen 
jest of Picton to say, that " lord Wellington sued 
Badajos in forma pauperis." 

The guns, some of them cast in Philip the Second's 
reign, were of soft brass, and false in their bore ; the 
shot were of different sizes, and the largest too small ; 
the Portuguese gunners were inexperienced, there 
were but few British artillery-men, few engineers, no 
sappers or miners, and no time to teach the troops of 
the line how to make fascines and gabions. Regular 
and sure approaches against the body of the place, 
by the Pardaleras and the Picurina outworks, could 
not be attempted ; but it was judged that Beres- 
ford's lines of attack on the castle and Fort Chris- 
toval, might be successfully renewed, avoiding the 
errors of that general ; that is to say, by pushing 
the double attacks simultaneously, and with more 
powerful means. San Christoval might thus be 
taken, and batteries from thence could sweep the 
interior of the castle, which was meanwhile to be 
breached. Something also was hoped from the in- 
habitants, and something from the effect of Soult's 
retreat after Albuera. 

This determination once taken, every thing was put 
in motion with the greatest energy. Major Dick- 
son, an artillery officer whose talents were very con- 



book spicuous during the whole war, had, with unexpected 
rapidity, prepared a battering train of thirty twenty- 
May/ four-pounders, four sixteen-pounders, and twelve 
eight and ten-inch howitzers made to serve as 
mortars by taking off the wheels and placing them 
on trucks. Six iron Portuguese ship-guns were 
forwarded from Salvatierra, making altogether fifty- 
two pieces, a considerable convoy of engineer's 
stores had already arrived from Alcacer do Sal, 
and a company of British artillery marched from 
Lisbon to be mixed with the Portuguese, making a 
total of six hundred gunners. The regular engi- 
neer-officers present, were only twenty-one in num- 
ber ; but eleven volunteers from the line were joined 
as assistant-engineers, and a draft of three hundred 
intelligent men from the line, including twenty-five 
artificers of the staff corps, strengthened the force 
immediately under their command. 

Hamilton's Portuguese division was already be- 
fore the town, and on the 24th of May, at the close 
of evening, general Houston's division, increased to 
five thousand men, by the addition of the seven- 
teenth Portuguese regiment, and the Tavira and 
Lagos militia, invested San Christoval. The flying 
bridge was then laid down on the Guadiana, and 
on the 27th Picton's division, arriving from Campo 
Mayor, crossed the river, by the ford above the 
town, and joined Hamilton, their united force being 
about ten thousand men. General Hill commanded 
the covering army which, including the Spaniards, 
was spread from Merida to Albuera. The ca- 
valry was pushed forward in observation of Soult, 
and a few days after, intelligence having arrived 
that Drouet's division was on the point of effecting 
a junction with that marshal, two regiments of 


cavalry and two brigades of infantry, which had chap. 

been quartered at Coria, as posts of communication 
with Spencer, were called up to reinforce the cover- 1 j^ 1 *' 
ing army. 

While the allies were engaged at Albuera, Phil- 
lipon, the governor of Badajos, had levelled their 
trenches, repaired his own damages, and obtained 
a small supply of wine and vegetables from the 
people of Estremadura, who were still awed by the 
presence of Soult's army ; and within the place all 
was quiet, for the citizens did not now exceed five 
thousand souls. He had also mounted more guns, 
and when the place was invested, parties of the 
townsmen mixed with soldiers, were observed work- 
ing to improve the defences ; wherefore, as any re- 
trenchments made in the castle, behind the in- 
tended points of attack, would have frustrated the 
besiegers' object by prolonging the siege, lord 
Wellington had a large telescope placed -in the 
tower of La Lyppe, near Elvas, by which the in- 
terior of the castle could be plainly looked into, 
and all preparations discovered. 

In the night of the 29th, ground was broken for 
a false attack against the Pardaleras, and the fol- 
lowing night sixteen hundred workmen, with a 
covering party of twelve hundred, sank a parallel 
against the castle, on an extent of eleven hundred 
yards, without being discovered by the enemy, who 
did not fire until after daylight. The same night 
twelve hundred workmen, covered by eight hun- 
dred men under arms, opened a parallel four hun- 
dred and fifty yards from San Christoval, and seven 
hundred yards from the bridge-head. On this line 
one breaching, and two counter batteries, were 


book raised against the fort and against the bridge-head, 



to prevent a sally from that point ; and a fourth 
battery was also commenced to search the defences 
of the castle, but the workmen were discovered, and 
a heavy fire struck down many of them. 

On the 31st the attack against the castle, the 
soil being very soft, was pushed forward without 
much interruption, and rapidly ; but the Chris- 
toval attack, being carried on in a rocky soil, and 
the earth brought up from the rear, proceeded 
slowly, and with considerable loss. This day the 
British artillery company came up on mules from 
Estremos, and the engineer hastened the works. 
The direction of the parallel against the castle was 
such, that the right gradually approached the 
point of attack by which the heaviest fire of the 
place was avoided ; yet, so great was the desire 
to save time, that before the suitable point of dis- 
tance was attained, a battery of fourteen twenty- 
four-pounders with six large howitzers was marked 

On the Christoval side, the batteries were not 
finished before the night of the 1st of June, for the 
soil was so rocky, that the miner was employed to 
level the ground for the platforms ; and the garri- 
son having mortars of sixteen and eighteen inches' 
diameter mounted on the castle, sent every shell 
amongst the workmen. These huge missiles 
would have ruined the batteries on that side alto- 
gether, if the latter had not been on the edge of 
a ridge, from whence most of the shells rolled 
Frmch off before bursting, yet so difficult is it to 

Register . . -p.. .,,. , , . 

of the judge rightly m war, that rnilhpon stopped this 
mss.' fire, thinking it was thrown away ! The progress 


of the works was also delayed by the bringing of chap. 
earth from a distance, and woolpacks purchased at 

Elvas, were found to be an excellent substitute. j^' 

In the night of the 2d, the batteries on both 
sides were completed, and armed with forty-three 
pieces of different sizes, of which twenty were 
pointed against the castle ; the next day the fire 
of the besiegers opened, but the windage caused 
by the smallness of the shot, rendered it very in- 
effectual at first, and five pieces became unservice- 
able. However, before evening the practice was 
steadier, the fire of the fort was nearly silenced, 
and the covering of masonry fell from the castle- 
wall, discovering a perpendicular bank of clay. 

In the night of the 3d the parallel against the 
castle was prolonged, and a fresh battery for seven 
guns traced out at six hundred and fifty yards from 
the breach. On the 4th the garrison's fire was 
increased by several additional guns, and six more 
pieces of the besiegers were disabled, principally 
by their own fire. Meanwhile the batteries told 
but slightly against the bank of clay. 

At Christoval, the fort was much injured, 
and some damage was done to the castle, from 
one of the batteries on that side ; but the guns 
were so soft and bad that the rate of firing 
was of necessity greatly reduced in all the bat- 
teries. In the night the new battery was armed, 
all the damaged works were repaired, and the next 
day the enemy having brought a gun in Christoval 
to plunge into the trenches on the castle side, the 
parallel there was deepened and traverses were 
constructed to protect the troops. 

Fifteen pieces still played against the castle, but 



book the bank of clay, although falling away in flakes, 
always remained perpendicular. One damaged 

1 & 1 1 

June. & un was repaired on the Christoval side, but two 

more had become unserviceable. 

In the night the parallel against the castle was 
again extended, a fresh battery was traced out, at 
only five hundred and twenty yards from the breach, 
to receive the Portuguese iron guns, which had 
arrived at Elvas ; and on the Christoval side some 
new batteries were opened and some old ones were 
abandoned. During this night the garrison began 
to entrench themselves behind the castle breach, 
before morning their labourers were well covered, 
and two additional pieces, from Christoval, were 
made to plunge into the trenches with great effect. 
On the other hand the fire of the besiegers had 
broken the clay bank, which took such a slope as 
to appear nearly practicable, and the stray shells 
and shots set fire to the houses nearest the castle, 
but three more guns were disabled. 

On the 6th there were two breaches in Chris- 
toval, and the principal one being found prac- 
ticable, a company of grenadiers with twelve lad- 
ders were directed to assault it, while a second 
company turned the fort by the east to divert the 
enemy's attention. Three hundred men from the 
trenches were at the same time pushed forward by 
the west side to cut the communication between 
the fort and the bridge-head ; and a detachment, 
with a six-pounder, moved into the valley of the 
Gebora, to prevent any passage of the Guadiana 
by boats. 





The storming party, commanded by major M'ln- 
tosh, of the 85th regiment, was preceded by a 
forlorn hope under Mr. Dyas, of the 51st, and this 
gallant gentleman, guided by the engineer Forster, 
a young man of uncommon bravery, reached the 
glacis about midnight, and descended the ditch 
without being discovered. The French had, how- 
ever, cleared all the rubbish away, the breach 
had still seven feet of perpendicular wall, many 
obstacles, such as carts chained together and 
pointed beams of wood, were placed above it, and 
large shells were ranged along the ramparts to roll 
down upon the assailants. The forlorn hope find- 
ing the opening impracticable, was retiring with 
little loss, when the main body, which had been 
exposed to a flank fire, from the town as well as 
a direct fire from the fort, came leaping into the 
ditch with ladders, and another effort was made 
to escalade at different points ; the ladders were too 
short, and the garrison, consisting of only seventy- 
five men, besides the cannoneers, made so stout a 
resistance, and the confusion and mischief occa- 
sioned by the bursting of the shells was so great, 
that the assailants again retired with the loss of 
more than one hundred men. 

Bad success always produces disputes, and the 
causes of this failure were attributed by some to 
the breach being impracticable from the first ; by 
others to the confusion which arose after the main 
body had entered. French writers affirm that the Lamarre's 

. Sieges. 

breach was certainly practicable on the night of 


book the 5th, but repaired on the 6th ; that as the be- 
— 1_ siegers did not attack until midnight, the workmen 

June ^ a( ^ ** me *° c ^ ear tne rinn s away and to raise 
fresh obstacles, and the bravery of the soldiers, 
who were provided with three muskets each, 
did the rest. But it is also evident, that whether 
from inexperience, accident, or other causes, the 
combinations for the assault were not very well 
calculated ; the storming party was too weak, the 
ladders few and short, and the breach not suffi- 
ciently scoured by the fire of the batteries. The 
attack itself was also irregular and ill-combined, 
for the leading troops were certainly repulsed be- 
fore the main body had descended the ditch. The 
intrepidity of the assailants was admitted by all 
sides, yet it is a great point in such attacks that 
the supports should form almost one body with the 
leaders, because the sense of power derived from 
numbers is a strong incentive to valour, and obsta- 
cles which would be insurmountable to a few, seem 
to vanish before a multitude. It is also to be 
recollected that this was a case where not .loss of 
men, but time was to be considered. 

During this night the iron guns were placed in 
battery against the castle, but two more of the 
brass pieces became unserviceable, and the follow- 
ing day three others were disabled. However, the 
bank of clay at the castle at last offered a prac- 
ticable slope, and during the night captain Patton 
of the engineers examined it closely ; he was mor- 
tally wounded in returning, yet lived to make his 
report that it was practicable. Nevertheless the 
garrison continued, as they had done every night 
at both breaches, to clear away the ruins, and with 
bales of wool and other materials to form defences 


behind the opening. They ranged also a number of chap. 

huge shells and barrels of powder, with matches ! 

fastened to them, along the ramparts, and placed j une " 
chosen men to defend the breach, each man being 
supplied with four muskets. 

In this order they fearlessly awaited another at- 
tack, which was soon made. For intelligence now 
arrived that Drouet's corps was close to Llerena, and 
that Marmont was on the move from Salamanca, and 
hence lord Wellington, seeing that his prey was likely 
to escape, as a last effort resolved to assault Christo- 
val again. But this time four hundred British, Por- 
tuguese, and French men of the Chasseurs Britan- 
niques, carrying sixteen long ladders, were destined 
for the attack ; the supports were better closed up ; 
the appointed hour was nine instead of twelve, and 
a greater number of detachments than before were 
distributed to the right and left to distract the enemy's 
attention, to cut off his communication with the 
town, and to be ready to improve any success which 
might be obtained. On the other side Phillipon 
increased the garrison of the fort to two hundred 


The storming party was commanded by major 
M'Geechy ; the forlorn hope, again led by the gallant 
Dyas, was accompanied by Mr. Hunt, an engineer 
officer, and a little after nine o'clock the leading 
troops bounding forward, were immediately followed 
by the support, amidst a shattering fire of musketry 
which killed major M'Geechy, Mr. Hunt, and 
many men upon the glacis. The troops with loud 


book shouts jumped into the ditch, but the French 


scoffingly called to them to come on, and at the 
June same trme rolled the barrels of powder and shells 
down, while the musketry made fearful and rapid 
havoc. In a little time the two leading columns 
united at the main breach, the supports also 
came up, confusion arose about the ladders, of 
which only a few could be reared, and the enemy 
standing on the ramparts, bayonetted the foremost 
of the assailants, overturned the ladders, and again 
poured their destructive fire upon the crowd below. 
When a hundred and forty men had fallen the 
order to retire was given. 

An assault on the castle breach might still have 
been tried, but the troops could not have formed 
between the top, and the retrenchments behind the 
breach, until Christoval was taken, and the guns 
from thence used to clear the interior of the castle ; 
hence the siege was of necessity raised, because to 
take Christoval, required several days more, and 
Soult was now ready to advance. The stores were 
removed on the 10th, and the attack was turned into 
a blockade. 


1°. The allies lost, during this unfortunate siege, 
nearly four hundred men and officers, and the 
whole of their proceedings were against rules. 
The working parties were too weak, the guns and 
stores too few, and the points of attack, chosen, not 
the best; the defences were untouched by counter- 
batteries, and the breaching batteries were at too 
great a distance for the bad guns employed ; howit- 


zers mounted on trucks were but a poor substitute chap. 
for mortars, and the sap was not practised ; lastly, 

the assaults were made before the glacis had been 3 8 * 1 ; 
crowned, and a musketry fire established against 
the breach. 

2°. That a siege so conducted should fail against 
such a brave and intelligent garrison is not 
strange ; but it is most strange and culpable that 
a government, which had been so long engaged 
in war as the British, should have left the engi- 
neer department, with respect to organization 
and equipment, in such a state as to make it, 
in despite of the officers' experience, bravery, and 
zeal, a very inefficient arm of war. The skill dis- 
played belonged to particular persons, rather than to 
the corps at large ; and the very tools with which 
they worked, especially those sent from the store- 
keeper's department, were so shamefully bad that 
the work required could scarcely be performed ; 
the captured French cutting-tools were eagerly 
sought for by the engineers as being infinitely 
better than the British ; when the soldiers' lives 
and the honour of England's arms, were at stake, 
the English cutlery was found worse than the 

3°. The neglect of rules, above noticed, was for 
the most part a matter of absolute necessity ; yet 
censure might attach to the general, inasmuch as 
he could have previously sent to England for a 
battering train. But then the conduct of the 
Portuguese and British governments when lord 
Wellington was in the lines, left him so little hope 
of besieging any place on the frontier, that he was 
hourly in fear of being obliged to embark : more- 
over, the badness of the Portuguese guns was not 

vol. iv. o 



book known, and the space of time that elapsed between 
the fall of Badajos and this siege, was insufficient 
to procure artillery from England ; neither would 
the Portuguese have furnished the means of car- 
riage. It may however at all times be taken as a 
maxim, that the difficulties of war are so innumera- 
ble that no head was ever yet strong enough to 
fore-calculate them all. 



It will be remembered, that Soult instead of chap. 


retiring into Andalusia, took a flank position at 
Llerena, and awaited the arrival of Drouet's divi- 1*11' 
sion, which had been detached from Massena's 
army. At Llerena, although closely watched by 
general Hill, the French marshal, with an army, 
oppressed by its losses and rendered unruly by 
want, maintained an attitude of offence until 
assured of Drouet's approach, when he again ad- 
vanced to Los Santos, near which place a slight 
cavalry skirmish took place to the disadvantage of 
the French. 

On the 14th, Drouet, whose march had been 
very rapid, arrived, and then Soult, who knew that 


lord Wellington expected large reinforcements, and pS/rom 
was desirous to forestal them, advanced to Fuente Marmont. 
del Maestro, whereupon Hill took measures to con- 
centrate the covering army on the position of Al- 
buera. Meanwhile Marmont, who had reorganized 
the army of Portugal, in six divisions of infantry 
and five brigades of cavalry, received Napoleon's 
orders to co-operate with Soult ; and in this view 
had sent Reynier with two divisions by the pass of 
Banos, while himself with a considerable force of 
infantry and cavalry and ten guns escorted a convoy 
to Ciudad Rodrigo. General Spencer, with the 
first, fifth, sixth, and light divisions, and one bri- 
gade of cavalry, was then behind the Agueda ■ and 

o 2 


book Pack's Portuguese brigade was above Almeida, 


which had been again placed in a condition to resist 
June an i rre g u l ar assault. Spencer's orders were to make 
his marches correspond with those of the enemy, 
if the latter should point towards the Tagus ; but if 
the French attacked, he was to take the line of 
the Coa, and to blow up Almeida if the movements 
went to isolate that fortress. On the morning of 
the Cth, Marmont, having introduced his convoy, 
marched out of Rodrigo in two columns, one 
moving upon Gallegos, the other upon Espeja. 
The light division fell back before the latter, 
and Slade's cavalry before the former ; but in this 
retrograde movement, the latter gave its flank ob- 
liquely to the line of the enemy's advance, which 
soon closed upon, and cannonaded it, with eight 
pieces of artillery. Unfortunately the British rear- 
guard got jammed in between the French and a 
piece of marshy ground, and in this situation the 
whole must have been destroyed, if captain Purvis, 
with a squadron of the fourth dragoons, had not 
charged the enemy while the other troopers, with 
strong horses and a knowledge of the firmest parts, 
got through the marsh. Purvis then passed also, 
and the French horses could not follow. Thus the 
retreat was effected with a loss of only twenty 
men. After the action an officer calling himself 
Montbrun's aid-du-carnp deserted to the allies. 

General Spencer, more distinguished for great 
personal intrepidity than for quickness of military 
conception, was now undecided as to his measures ; 
and the army was by no means in a safe situation, 
for the country was covered with baggage, the 
movements of the divisions were wide, and without 
concert, and general Pack who had the charge of 



Almeida too hastily blew it up. In this uncertainty chap. 
the adjutant-general Pakenham pointed out that the _ — L_ 
French did not advance as if to give battle, that j^' 
their numbers were evidently small, their move- 
ments more ostentatious than vigorous, and pro- 
bably intended to cover a flank movement by the 
passes leading to the Tagus : he therefore urged 
Spencer either to take up a position of battle 
which would make the enemy discover his real 
numbers and intentions, or retire at once behind the 
Coa, with a view to march to lord Wellington's 
assistance. These arguments were supported by 
colonel Waters, who, having closely watched the 
infantry coming out of Ciudad Rodrigo, observed 
that they were too clean and well dressed to have 
come off a long march, and must therefore be a 
part of the garrison. He had also ascertained that 
a large body was actually in movement towards the 

Spencer yielding to these representations marched 
in the evening by Alfayates to Soito, and the next 
day behind the Coa. Here certain intelligence, 
that Marmont was in the passes, reached him, and 
he continued his march to the Alemtejo by Pena- 
macor, but detached one division and his cavalry 
to Coria, as flankers, while he passed with the main 
body by Castello Branco, Vilha Velha, Niza, and 
Portalegre. The season was burning and the 
marches long, yet so hardened by constant service 
were the light division, and so well organized by 
general Craufurd, that, although covering from 
eighteen to eight-and-twenty miles daily, they did not 
leave a single straggler behind. The flanking troops, 
who had been rather unnecessarily exposed at Coria, 
then followed, and Marmont having imposed upon 



book Spencer and Pack by his demonstration in front of 
Ciudad Rodrigo, filed off by the pass of Perales, 

June. wn ^ e Reynier moved by the passes of Bejar and 
Banos, and the whole were by forced marches soon 
united at the bridge of Almaraz. Here a pontoon 
bridge expected from Madrid had not arrived, and 
the passage of the Tagus was made with only one 
ferry-boat which caused a delay of four days, which 
would have proved fatal to Badajos, if the battering- 
guns employed in that siege had been really effective. 

When the river was crossed, the French army 
marched in two columns with the greatest rapidity 
upon Merida and Medellin, where they arrived the 
18th, and opened their communications with Soult. 

On the other side, lord Wellington had been 
attentively watching these movements ; he had 
never intended to press Badajos beyond the 10th, 
because he knew that when reinforced with Drouet's 
division, Soult alone would be strong enough to 
raise the siege, and hence the hurried assaults ; 
but he was resolved to fight Soult, and although 
he raised the siege on the 10th, yet, by a deci- 
phered intercepted letter, that Phillipon's provi- 
sions would be exhausted on the 20th, he continued 
the blockade of the place, in hopes that some such 
accident of war as the delay at Almaraz might im- 
pede Marmont. It may be here asked, why, as 
he knew a few days would suffice to reduce 
Badajos, he did not retrench his whole army and 
persist in the siege? The answer is that Elvas 
being out of repair, and exhausted both of provisions 
and ammunition, by the siege of Badajos, the enemy 
would immediately have taken that fortress. 

When Soult's advanced guard had reached Los 
Santos, the covering army, consisting of the second 



and fourth divisions and Blake's Spaniards was con- chap. 

centrated at Albuera, Hamilton's Portuguese were ' 

also directed there from Badajos ; meanwhile the 
third and seventh divisions maintained the blockade, 
and Wellington expecting a battle repaired in per- 
son to Albuera, but, unlike Beresford, he had that 
position entrenched, and did not forget to occupy 
the hill on the right. 

On the 14th, it was known that Marmont was 
at Truxillo, and that in four days he could unite 
with Soult, wherefore the blockade was also raised 
with a view to repass the Guadiana, yet Wel- 
lington still lingered at Albuera hoping to fall on 
Soult separately, but the cautious manner in which 
the latter moved, continually refusing his left and 
edging with his right, towards Almendralejos, 
soon extinguished this chance; on the 17th, the 
blockade having been raised the day before, the 
allies repassed the Guadiana in two columns. The 
British and Portuguese moved by the pontoon 
bridge near Badajos, the Spaniards crossed at 
Jerumenha; — this movement, not an easy one, 
was executed without any loss of men or stores, 
and without accident, save that general William 
Stewart by some error, took the same line as Blake, 
and at night fell in with the Spaniards, who 
thought his division French and were like to have 

The 19th the united French armies entered 
Badajos, which was thus succoured after two most 
honourable defences, and at a moment when Phil- 
lipon, despairing of aid and without provisions, 
was preparing his means of breaking out and 

The 21st Godinot's division which had marched 



book by Valverde took possession of Olivenza ; the 22d 

he pushed a detachment under the guns of Jeru- 
June. menna > an d the same day the whole of the French 
cavalry crossed the Guadiana in two columns, ad- 
vancing towards Villa Viciosa and Elvas on one 
side, and Campo Mayor on the other. 

Lord Wellington being now joined by the head 
of Spencer's corps, had placed his army on both 
sides of the Caya, with cavalry posts towards the 
mouth of that river and on the Guadiana in front 
of Elvas. His right wing was extended behind 
the Caya to the lower bridge on that river, and his 
left wing had a field of battle on some high ground 
resting on the Gebora, a little beyond Campo 
Mayor, which fortress was occupied, and the open 
space between it and the high ground strongly en- 
trenched. On this side also cavalry were posted in 
observation beyond the Gebora and about Albu- 
querque, the whole position forming an irregular 
arch embracing the bridge of Badajos. The wood 
and town of Aronches were behind the centre of the 
position and the little fortified place of Ouguella was 
behind the left ; but the right wing was much more 
numerous than the left, and the Monte Reguingo, a 
wooded ridge between Campo Mayor and the Caya, 
was occupied by the light division, whose position 
could not be recognized by the enemy. 

If the French attacked the left of the allies, a 
short movement would have sufficed to bring the 
bulk of the troops into action on the menaced 
point, because the whole extent of country occupied 
did not exceed ten or twelve miles : the commu- 
nications also were good, and from Campo Mayor 
open plains, reaching to Badajos, exposed the French 
movements which could be distinguished both from 


Elvas, from Campo Mayor, and from the many chap. 
atalayas or watch-towers on that frontier. 

The chief merit of this position was the difficulty Jum / 
of recognizing it from the enemy's side, and to pro- 
tect the rear, the first division was retained at 
Portalegre : from thence it could intercept the 
enemy at Marvao or Castello de Vide if he should 
attempt to turn the allies by Albuquerque; and was 
ready to oppose Soult if he should move between 
Elvas and Estremos ; but the march from Portalegre 
was too long to hope for the assistance of this divi- 
sion in a battle near Elvas or Campo Mayor. 

The French cavalry, as I have said, passed the 
Guadiana on the 21st, both by the bridge of 
Badajos and by two fords, where the road of Oli- 
venza crosses that river, below the confluence of 
the Caya. The right column after driving back the 
outposts of the allies, was opposed by the heavy 
dragoons, and by Madden's Portuguese, and retired 
without seeing the position on the Campo Mayor 
side; but the horsemen of the left column, while 
patrolling towards Villa Viciosa and Elvas, cut off 
a squadron of the eleventh dragoons, and the 
second German hussars which were on the Guadiana 
escaped to Elvas with difficulty and loss. The 
cause of this misfortune in which nearly a hundred 
and fifty men were killed or taken is not very clear, 
for the French aver that colonel Lallemand, by a 
feigned retreat drew the cavalry into an ambuscade, 
and the rumours in the English camp were various 
and discordant. 

After this action the French troops were quar- 
tered along the Guadiana above and below Badajos 
from Xeres de los Cavalheiros to Montijo, and pro- 
ceeded to collect provisions for themselves and for 


book the fortress, hence, with the exception of a vain 
attempt on the 26th to cut off the cavalry detach- 

1 81 1 

June, nients on the side of Albuquerque, no farther opera- 
tions took place. 

All things had seemed to tend to a great and 
decisive battle, and, although the crisis glided 
away without any event of importance, this was one 
Appendix, f the most critical periods of the war. For Mar- 
se«ion a. mont brought down, including a detachment of the 
army of the centre, thirty-one thousand infantry, 
four thousand five hundred cavalry, and fifty-four 
guns ; Soult about twenty-five thousand infantry, 
three thousand cavalry, and thirty-six guns ; — to 
effect this, Andalusia and Castile had been nearly 
stripped of troops. Bessieres had abandoned the 
Asturias, Bonnet united with general Mayer, who 
had succeeded Serras in Leon, was scarcely able, 
as we have seen, to keep the Gallicians in check on 
the Orbijo, the chief armies of the Peninsular were 
in presence, a great battle seemed to be the in- 
terest of the French, and it way in their option to 
fight or not. Their success at Badajos, and the 
surprise of the cavalry on the Caya had made 
ample amends for their losses at Los Santos and 
Usagre, and now, when Badajos was succoured, 
and the allied army in a manner driven into Por- 
tugal, Albuera seemed to be a victory. The general 
result of the Estremadura campaign had been fa- 
vourable to them, and the political state of their 
affairs seemed to require some dazzling action to 
impose upon the peninsulars. Their army was 
powerful, and as they were especially strong in 
cavalry, and on favourable ground for that arm, 
there could scarcely be a better opportunity for a 
blow, which would, if successful, have revenged 



Massena's disasters, and sent lord Wellington back chap. 
to Lisbon, perhaps from the Peninsula altogether ; 

if unsuccessful not involving any very serious con- June ' 
sequences, because from their strength of horse and 
artillery, and nearness to Badajos, a fatal defeat 
was not to be expected. But the allied army 
was thought to be stronger by the whole amount 
of the Spanish troops, than it really was ; the posi- 
tion very difficult to be examined was confidently 
held by lord Wellington, and no battle took place. 
Napoleon's estimation of the weight of moral 
over physical force in war was here finely exem- 
plified. Both the French armies were conscious of 
recent defeats, Busaco, Sabugal, Fuentes, and the 
horrid field of Albuera, were fresh in their memory; 
the fierce blood there spilled, still reeked in their 
nostrils, and if Caesar after a partial check at Dyrrac- 
chiaum held it unsafe to fight a pitched battle with 
recently defeated soldiers, however experienced or 
brave, Soult may well be excused, seeing that he 
knew there were divisions on the Caya, as good in 
all points, and more experienced, than those he 
had fought with on the banks of the Albuera. The 
stern nature of the British soldier had been often 
before proved by him, and he could now draw no 
hope from the unskilfulness of the general. Lord 
Wellington's resolution to accept battle on the 
banks of the Caya, was nevertheless, one of * as 
unmixed greatness, as the crisis was one of un- 
mixed danger to the cause he supported. For the 
Portuguese government, following up the system 
which I have already described, had reduced their 
troops to the lowest degree of misery, and the 
fortresses were, at times, only not abandoned to 
the enemy. The British government had taken the 



book native troops into pay, but it had not undertaken 

_J L_ to feed them ; yet such was the suffering of those 

brave men that Wellington, after repeatedly re- 
fusing to assist them from the English stores, unable 
longer to endure the sight of their misfortunes, and 
to prevent them from disbanding, at last fed the 
six brigades, or three-fourths of the whole army, 
the English commissariat charging the expense to 
the subsidy. He hoped that the government would 
then supply the remnant, but they starved it like- 
wise, and during the siege of Badajos these troops 
were of necessity thrown for subsistence upon the 
magazines of Elvas, which were thus exhausted ; 
and what with desertion, famine, and sickness, that 
flourishing army which had mustered more than 
forty thousand good soldiers in line, at the time of 
Massena's invasion, could now scarcely produce 
fourteen thousand for a battle on which the fate 
of their country depended. The British troops, 
although large reinforcements had come out, and 
more were arriving, had so many sick and wounded, 
that scarcely twenty-eight thousand sabres and 
bayonets were in the field. The enemy had there- 
fore a superiority, of one fourth in artillery and in- 
fantry, and the strength of his cavalry was double 
that of the British. 

To accept battle in such circumstances, military 
considerations only being had in view, would have 
been rash in the extreme, but the Portuguese go- 
vernment besides throwing the subsistence of the 
troops upon Elvas, had utterly neglected that place, 
and Jerumenha, Campo Mayor, and Ouguella, 
Aronches and Santa Olaya, which were the for- 
tresses covering this frontier; neither had they 
drawn forth any means of transport from the 


country. The siege of Badajos had been entirely chap. 

furnished from Elvas ; but all the carts and animals — 

of burthen that could be found in the vicinity, or ™**; 
as far as the British detachments could go; and 
all the commissariat means to boot, were scarcely 
sufficient to convey the ammunition, the stores, and 
the subsistence of the native troops, day by day, 
from Elvas to the camp ; there was consequently 
no possibility of replacing these things from the 
British magazines at Abrantes and Lisbon. 

When the allies crossed the Guadiana in retreat, 
Elvas had only ten thousand rounds of shot left, 
and not a fortnight's provisions in store, even for 
her own garrison ; her works were mouldering in 
many places, from want of care, houses and enclo- 
sures encumbered her glacis, most of her guns 
were rendered unserviceable by the fire at Badajos, 
the remainder were very bad, and her garrison was 
composed of untried soldiers and militia. Jerumenha 
was not better looked to ; Olaya, Campo Mayor, 
and Ouguella had nothing but their walls. It 
would appear then, that if Soult had been aware 
of this state of affairs, he might under cover of 
the Guadiana, have collected his army below the 
confluence of the Caya, and then by means of the 
pontoon train from Badajos, and by the fords at 
which his cavalry did pass, have crossed the Gua- 
diana, overpowered the right of the allies, and 
suddenly investing Elvas, have covered his army 
with lines, which would have ensured the fall of 
that place; unless the English general, anticipating 
such an attempt, had, with very inferior numbers, 
defeated him between the Caya and Elvas. But 
this, in a perfectly open country, offering no ad- 
vantages to the weaker army, would not have 



book been easy. Soult also, by marching on the side 
of Estremos, could have turned the right, and 

1 01 1 

June, menaced the communications of the allies with 

Abrantes, which would have obliged him to retreat 

and abandon Elvas or fight to disadvantage. The 

position on the Caya was therefore taken up solely 

with reference to the state of political affairs. It 

was intended to impose upon the enemy, and it 

did so ; Elvas and Jerumenha must otherwise have 


While a front of battle was thus presented, the rear 
was cleared of all the hospitals and heavy baggage; 
workmen were day and night employed to restore the 
fortifications of the strong places, and guns, ammu- 
nition, and provisions were brought up from Abrantes, 
by means of the animals and carts before employed 
in the siege of Badajos. Until all this was ef- 
fected Portugal was on the brink of perdition, but 
the true peninsular character was now displayed, 
and in a manner that proclaims most forcibly the 
difficulties overcome by the English general, dif- 
ficulties which have been little appreciated in his 
own country. The danger of Elvas had aroused 
all the bustle of the Portuguese government, and 
the regency were at first frightened at the con- 
sequences of their own conduct ; but when they 
found their own tardy efforts were forestalled by the 
diligence of lord Wellington, they with prodigious 
effrontery asserted, that he had exhausted Elvas 
for the supply of the British troops, and that they 
had replenished it ! 

His imperturbable firmness at this crisis was 
wonderful, and the more admirable, because Mr. 
Perceval's policy, prevailing in the cabinet, had 
left him without a halfpenny in the military chest, 


and almost without a hope of support in his chap. 

own country : yet his daring was not a wild cast — 

of the net for fortune; it was supported by great j® 1 ^' 
circumspection, and a penetration and activity that 
let no advantages escape. He had thrown a wide 
glance over the Peninsula, knew his true situation, 
had pointed out to the Spaniards how to push 
their war to advantage, while the French were thus 
concentrated in Estremadura, and at this period 
had a right to expect assistance from them ; for 
Soult and Marmont were united at Badajos, the 
army of the north and the army of the centre were 
paralysed by the flight of the king, and this was 
the moment, when Figueras having been surprised 
by Rovira, and Taragona besieged by Suchet, the 
French armies of Catalonia and Aragon were en- 
tirely occupied with those places. Thus, nearly 
the whole of the Peninsula was open to the enter- 
prizes of the Spaniards. They could have col- 
lected, of Murcians and Valencians only, above 
forty thousand regulars, besides partizans, with 
which they might have marched against Madrid, 
while the Gallicians operated in Castile, and the 
Asturian army supported the enterprizes of the 
northern partidas. 

This favourable occasion was not seized. Julian 
Sanchez, indeed, cut off a convoy, menaced Sala- 
manca, and blockaded Ciudad Rodrigo ; Santo- 
cildes came down to Astorga, and as I have before ^ 
observed, Mina and the northern chiefs harassed Cha P- r 
the French communications ; some stir also was 
made by the guerillas near Madrid, and Suchet was 
harassed, but the commotion soon subsided ; and a 
detachment from Madrid having surprised a congre- 
gation of partidas at Peneranda, killed many and 



book recovered a large convoy which they had taken ; and 

'— in this complicated war, which being spread like a 

T 8 ne spider's web over the whole Peninsula, any drag upon 
one part would have made the whole quiver to the 
most distant extremities, the regular armies effected 
nothing. Nor did any general insurrection of the 
people take place in the rear of the French, who 
retained all their fortified posts, while their civil 
administrations continued to rule in the great towns 
as tranquilly as if there was no war ! 

Lord Wellington's principal measure for dissi- 
pating the storm in his front had rested upon 
Blake. That general had wished him to fight 
beyond the Guadiana, and was not well pleased at 
being refused ; wherefore the English general, in- 
stead of taking ten or twelve thousand Spaniards, 
and an uneasy colleague, into the line of battle at 
Campo Mayor, where he knew by experience that 
they would quarrel with the Portuguese, and by 
their slowness, insubordination, and folly, would 
rather weaken than strengthen himself, delivered 
to Blake the pontoons used at Badajos, and concerted 
with him a movement down the right bank of the 
Guadiana. He was to recross that river at Mertola, 
and to fall upon Seville, which was but slightly 
guarded by a mixed force of French and Spaniards 
in Joseph's service ; and this blow, apparently easy 
of execution, would have destroyed all the arsenals 
and magazines, which supported the blockade of 
Cadiz. Lord Wellington had therefore good reason 
to expect the raising of that siege, as well as the dis- 
persion of the French army in its front. He like- 
wise urged the regency at Cadiz to push forward 
general Beguines from San Roque, against Seville, 
while the insurgents in the Ronda pressed the few 




troops, left in Grenada, on one side, and Freire, chap. 
with the Mnrcian army, pressed them on the other. ' 

Blake marched the 18th, recrossed the river at 
Mertola the 22d, remained inactive at Castillegos 
until the 30th, and sent his heavy artillery to Aya- 
monte by water; then, instead of moving direct with 
his whole force upon Seville, he detached only a 
small body, and with a kind of infatuation wasted 
two successive days in assaulting the castle of 
Niebla ; a contemptible work garrisoned by three 
hundred Swiss, who had in the early part of the 
war abandoned the Spanish service. Being with- 
out artillery he could not succeed, and meanwhile 
Soult, hearing of his march, ordered Olivenza to 
be blown up, and taking some cavalry, and Godi- 
not's division which formed the left of his army, 
passed the Morena by Santa Ollalla and moved 
rapidly upon Seville. From Monasterio he sent a 
detachment to relieve the castle of Niebla; and 
at the same time, general Conroux, whose division 
was at Xeres de los Cavalheiro, crossed the moun- 
tain by the Aracena road, and endeavoured to cut 
off Blake from Ayamonte. 

Thus far, notwithstanding the failure at Niebla, 
the English general's project was crowned with 
success. The great army in his front was broken 
up, Soult was gone, Marmont was preparing to 
retire, and Portugal was safe. Blake's cavalry 
under Penne Villemur, and some infantry under 
Ballesteros, had also, during the attack on Niebla, 
appeared in front of Seville on the right of the 
Guadalquivir, and a slight insurrection took place 
at Carmona on the left bank. The Serranos, always 
in arms, were assisted by Beguines with three thou- 

vol. iv. p 


book sand men, and blockaded the town of Ronda ; and 


. '— Freire advancing with his Murcians beyond Lorca, 

j®} 1, menaced general Laval, who had succeeded Sebas- 
tiani in command of the fourth corps. In this 
crisis, general Daricau, unable to keep the field, 
shut himself up in a great convent, which Soult 
had, in anticipation of such a crisis, fortified in 
the Triana suburb, before his first invasion of Es- 
tremadura. But the Spanish troops of Joseph, 
shewed no disposition to quit him, the people of 
Seville remained tranquil, and Blake's incapacity 
ruined the whole combination. 

Soult approached on the 6th of July, Ballesteros 
and Villemur immediately retired, and the insurrec- 
tion at Carmona ceased. Blake, hearing of Con- 
roux's march, precipitately fled from Niebla, and 
only escaped into Portugal by the assistance of 
a bridge laid for him at San Lucar de Guadiana 
by colonel Austin. He then resolved to embark 
some of his forces and sail to attack San Lucar 
de Barameda; but scarcely had a few men got 
on board, when the French advanced guard ap- 
peared, and he again fled in disorder to Aya- 
monte, and got into the island of Canelas, where 
fortunately a Spanish frigate and three hundred 
transports had unexpectedly arrived. While Bal- 
lesteros, with the cavalry and three thousand in- 
fantry, protected the embarkation, by taking a 
position on the Rio Piedra, Blake got on board 
with great confusion, and sailed to Cadiz, for the 
French had reinforced San Lucar de Barameda, 
and entered Ayamonte. The Portuguese mili- 
tia, of the Algarves, were then called out; and 
Ballesteros after losing some men on the Piedra, 


took post in the mountains of Aroches on his left, chap. 

. . VI. 

until the French retired, when he came back with ' . 

his infantry and entrenched himself in Canelas. August 
On this island he remained until August, and then 
embarked under the protection of the Portuguese 
militia at Villa Real, while his cavalry marched 
up the Guadiana to rejoin Castaiios, who with 
a few troops still remained in Estremadura. A 
small battalion left in the castle of Paymago was 
soon after unsuccessfully attacked by the French, 
and this finished the long partizan warfare of the 
Condado de Niebla. 

There was now nothing to prevent the French 
from again pressing the allies on the Caya, ex- 
cept the timid operations of Freire on the side of 
Grenada, and these Soult was in march to repress. 
With indefatigable activity he had recalled the 
troops of the fourth corps, from Estremadura, to 
supply the place of the detachments which he had 
already sent, from Seville, Cadiz, Grenada, and 
Malaga, to quell the insurrection in the Ronda ; and 
while he thus prepared the means of attacking Freire, 
Beguines was driven back to San Roque, and the 
Serranos as I have before observed, disgusted with 
the Spanish general's ill conduct, were upon the 
point of capitulating with the French. During 
these events in the Ronda, Godinot returned, from 
the pursuit of Blake, to Jaen, whence on the 7th of 
August, he was directed to march against Pozal^on 
and Baza, where the Murcian army was posted. 
Meanwhile Blake, re-landing his troops at Almeria, 
joined Freire ; his intention was to have com- 
menced active operations against Grenada, but 
thinking it necessary to go first to Valencia where 
Palacio was making mischief, he left the army, 




book which was above twenty-seven thousand strong:, 
under Freire, and before he could return it was 
utterly dispersed. 




General Quadra, who commanded the right wing 
of the Murcians, was at Pozalcon, and it is said, 
had orders to rejoin Freire, but disobeyed. The 
centre and left under Freire himself, were at Venta 
de Bahul in front of Baza. The 8th, Soult, at 
the head of a mixed force of French and Spanish 
troops in Joseph's service, drove back the ad- 
vanced guards from Guadix. The 9th he appeared 
in front of Bahul, where he discerned the Spanish 
army on strong ground, their front being covered 
by a deep ravine. As his object was to cut off the 
retreat upon Lorca, and the city of Murcia, he 
only shewed a few troops at first, and skirmished 
slightly, to draw Freire's attention, while Godinot 
attacked his right at Pozalcon and got in his 
rear. Godinot wasted time. His advanced guard, 
alone, had defeated Quadra with great loss, but 
instead of entering Baza, he halted for the night 
near it ; and during the darkness, the Spaniards, 
who had no other line of retreat, and were now 
falling back in confusion before Soult, passed 
through that place, and made for Lorca and 
Caravalha. Soult's cavalry, however, soon cut 
this line, and the fugitives took to the by-roads, 
followed and severely harassed by the French 

At this time the whole province was in a defence- 
less state, but the people generally took arms to 




protect the city of Murcia. That place was en- chap. 
trenched, and the French marshal, whose troops ' 
were few, and fatigued by constant marching, not 
thinking fit to persevere, especially as the yellow 
fever was raging at Carthagena, returned to Grenada, 
whence he sent detachments to disperse some insur- 
gents who had gathered under the Conde de Mon- 
tijo in the Alpuxaras. Thus Grenada was entirely 

Here it is impossible to refrain from admiring 
Soult's vigour and ability. We see him in the 
latter end of 1810, with a small force and in the 
depth of winter, taking Olivenza, Badajos, Albu- 
querque, Valencia d'Alcantara, and Campo Mayor; 
defeating a great army, and capturing above twenty 
thousand men. Again when unexpectedly assailed 
by Beresford in the north, by the Murcians in the 
east, by Ballesteros in the west, and by Lapena 
and Graham in the south, he found means to repel 
three of them, to persevere in the blockade of 
Cadiz, and to keep Seville tranquil, while he 
marched against the fourth. At Albuera he lost 
one of the fiercest battles upon human record, and 
that at a moment when the king by abandoning his 
throne had doubled every embarrassment; never- 
theless, holding fast to Estremadura, he still 
maintained the struggle, and again taking the of- 
fensive obliged the allies to repass the Guadiana. 
If he did not then push his fortune to the 
utmost, it must be considered that his command 
was divided, that his troops were still impressed 
with the recollection of Albuera, and that the 
genius of his adversary had worked out new 
troubles for him in Andalusia. With how much 
resolution and activity he repressed those troubles 



book I have just shewn ; but above all things he is to be 
commended for the prudent vigour of his admini- 
stration, which, in despite of the opposition of 
Joseph's Spanish counsellors, had impressed the An- 
dalusians with such a notion of his power and re- 
sources, that no revolt of any real consequence took 
place, and none of his civic guards or " Escope- 
teros" failed him in the hour of need. 

Let any man observe the wide extent of country 
he had to maintain ; the frontiers fringed as it were 
with hostile armies, the interior suffering under war 
requisitions, the people secretly hating the French, 
a constant insurrection in the Ronda, and a na- 
tional government and a powerful army in the Isla 
de Leon. Innumerable English and Spanish agents 
prodigal of money, and of arms, continually insti- 
gating the people of Andalusia to revolt; the coast 
covered with hostile vessels, Gibraltar sheltering 
beaten armies on one side, Cadiz on another, Por- 
tugal on a third, Murcia on a fourth ; the communi- 
cation with France difficult, two battles lost, few 
reinforcements, and all the material means to be 
created in the country. Let any man, I say, con- 
sider this, and he will be convinced that it was no 
common genius that could remain unshaken amidst 
such difficulties ; yet Soult not only sustained him- 
self, but contemplated the most gigantic offensive 
enterprises, and was at all times an adversary to be 
dreaded. What though his skill in actual combat 
was not so remarkable as in some of his con- 
temporaries ; who can deny him firmness, activity, 
vigour, foresight, grand perception, and admirable 
arrangement? It is this combination of high qua- 
lities that forms a great captain. 



While Soult was clearing the eastern frontier of chai\ 
Andalusia, Marmont retired gradually from Badajos 

1 R 1 1 
and quartered his troops in the valley of the Tagus, j u \ y ' 

with exception of one division which he left, at 
Truxillo. At the same time the fifth corps re- 
tired to Zafra, and thus lord Wellington found him- 
self relieved from the presence of the French, 
at the very moment when he had most reason to 
fear their efforts. He had by this time secured 
the fortresses on the frontier, his troops were 
beginning to suffer from the terrible pestilence 
of the Guadiana, this was sufficient to prevent him 
from renewing the siege of Badajos, if Marmont's 
position had not forbid that measure, he therefore 
resolved to adopt a new system of operations. 
But to judge of the motives which influenced his 
conduct we must again cast a hasty glance over the 
general state of the Peninsula, which was hourly 

In Catalonia Suchet had stormed Taragona, 
seized Montserrat, and dispersed the Catalan army. 
A division of the army of the centre had chased 
the Partidas from Guadalaxara and Cuencu, and re- 
established the communications with Aragon. Va- 
lencia and Murcia were in fear and confusion, both 
from internal intrigue and from the double disasters 
on each side of their frontier, at Baza and Taragona. 

The French emperor was pouring reinforcements 


^°.y K into Spain by the northern line ; these troops as 
usual scoured the country to put down the Guerillas 


July, on each side of their march, and nearly forty thou- 
sand fresh men, mostly old soldiers from the army 
of the reserve, were come, or coming into the 
north of Spain. The young guard which was at 
Burgos, under general Dorsenne, was increased to 
seventeen thousand men ; and as no efforts, except 
those already noticed, were made by the Spaniards, 
to shake the French hold of the country while 
Soult and Marmont were on the Guadiana, the 
French generals were enabled to plan exten- 
sive measures of further conquest : and the more 
readily, because the king was now on his return 
from Paris, in apparent harmony with his brother, 
and the powers and duties of all parties were 

Suchet urged by Napoleon to hasten his pre- 
parations for the invasion of Valencia, was resolved 
to be under the walls of that city in the middle 
of September, and Soult was secretly planning a 
gigantic enterprise, calculated to change the whole 
aspect of the war. In the north when the king, 
who re-entered Madrid the 14th, had passed Val~ 
ladolid, the imperial guards entered Leon ; thirteen 
thousand men of the army of the north were con- 
centrated at Benevente on the 17th, and Santocildes 
retired into the mountains. Bessieres then sent a 
large convoy to Ciudad Rodrigo, but following the 
treaty between Joseph and Napoleon, returned him- 
self to France, and general Dorsenne taking the 
NoTm!*' command of the army of the north, prepared to 

Section 3. . , /~t ii 1 • 

invade Gallieia. 

Meanwhile Marmont was directed to resign the 
whole of Castile and Leon, to the protection of 


the army of the north, and to withdraw all his chap. 

posts and depots, with the exception of the garrison '. 

of Ciudad Rodrigo, which was to be changed at a j^ 11 ' 
more convenient time. His line of communication 
was to be with Madrid, and that city was to be his 
chief depot and base ; he was to take positions in 
the valley of the Tagus, and at Truxillo ; to fortify 
either Alcantara or Almaraz, and to secure the 
communication across the river. 

Thus posted, the emperor judged that Mar- 
mont could more effectually arrest the progress 
of the allies than in any other. The invasion 
of Andalusia, for the purpose of raising the siege 
of Cadiz, was, he said, the only object the allies 
had at the moment, but it could always be frustrated 
by Marmont's moving against their flank ; and 
with respect to the north, the allies having no 
object on that side, would be unlikely to make any 
serious attempt, because they must in time be 
overmatched, as the French fell back upon their 
resources. Marmont could also act against their 
right flank, as he could do against their left flank, 
if they marched upon Andalusia; and while sta- 
tionary he protected Madrid, and gave power and 
activity to the king's administration. 

In pursuance of these instructions, Marmont, 
who had remained in Estremadura, to cover Soult's 
operations against Blake and the Murcians, now 
proceeded to occupy Talavera, and other posts in 
the valley of the Tagus; and he placed a division at 
Truxillo, the castle of which place, as well as that 
of Medellin, was repaired. Another division occu- 
pied Placentia, with posts in the passes of Bejar 
and Bafios ; Girard's division of the fifth corps, re- 
mained at Zafra, to serve as a point of connexion 


book between Marmont and Soult, and to support Badajos, 
L_ which, by a wise provision of Napoleon's, was now 

Jul 1 ' garrisoned with detachments from the three armies, 
of the centre, of Portugal and of the south. This 
gave each general a direct interest in moving to 
its succour, and in the same policy Ciudad Rodrigo 
was to be wholly garrisoned by the army of the 
north, that Marmont might have no temptation to 
neglect the army of the south, under pretence of 
succouring Ciudad. 

To restore and maintain Alcantara was beyond 
the means of the duke of Ragusa ; he therefore re- 
paired the bridge of Almaraz, and constructed two 
strong forts, one at each side, to protect it, and to 
serve as an intermediate field depot; a third and 
more considerable fort was also built on the 
high ridge of Mirabete, to insure a passage over 
the hills from Almaraz to Truxillo. A free inter- 
course with the army of the south was thus secured 
on one side, and on the other, the passes of 
Banos and Bejar, and the Roman road of Puerto 
Pico, which had been restored in 1810, served for 
communication with the army of the north. 

The French affairs had now assumed a very fa- 
vourable aspect. There was indeed a want of 
money, but the generals were obeyed with scru- 
pulous attention by the people of Spain, not only 
within the districts occupied by them, but even in 
those villages where the guerillas were posted. 
This obedience lord Wellington attributed entirely 
to fear, and hoped as the exactions were heavy, 
that the people would at last fight or fly from their 
habitations on the approach of a French soldier ; 
but this did not happen generally, and to me it 
appears, that the obedience was rather a symptom 


of the subjection of the nation, and that with a chap 

... . VII. 
judicious mixture of mildness and severity perfect 

submission would have followed if England had j®|** 
not kept the war alive. 

On the other hand the weakness and anarchy of 
the Spaniards were daily increasing, and the dis- 
putes, between the British general and the Portu- 
guese government, had arrived to such a height, that 
lord Wellington, having drawn up powerful and clear 
statements of his grievous situation, sent one to the 
Brazils and the other to his own government, with 
a positive intimation that if an entirely new system 
was not immediately adopted he would no longer 
attempt to carry on the contest. Lord Wellesley, 
taking his stand upon this ground, made strenuous 
exertions in both countries to prevent the ruin of the 
cause ; but lord Wellington, while expecting the 
benefit of his brother's interference, had to contend 
with the most surprising difficulties, and to seek in 
his own personal resources for the means of even 
defending Portugal. He had sent marshal Beresford 
to Lisbon, immediately after Albuera, to superin- 
tend the reorganization and restoration of the Por- 
tuguese forces, and Beresford had sent Mr. De 
Lemos, an officer of his own staff, to the Brazils, 
to represent the inconveniences arising from the 
interference of the regency in the military affairs. 
On the other hand the Souzas sent one Vasconcellos, 
who had been about the British head-quarters as 
their spy, to Rio Janeiro, and thus the political in- 
trigues became more complicated than ever. 

But with respect to the war Wellington had 
penetrated Napoleon's object, when he saw Mar- 
mont's position in the valley of the Tagus ; he felt 
the full force of the emperor's military reasoning, 


book yet he did not despair, if he could overcome the 

political obstacles, to gain some advantage. He had 
j^J 1, now a powerful and experienced British force under 
his command, the different departments and the staff 
of the army were every day becoming more skilful 
and ready, and he had also seen enough of his 
adversaries to estimate their powers. The king he 
knew to be no general, and discontented with the 
marshals ; Soult he had found able and vast in 
his plans, but too cautious in their execution ; 
Marmont, with considerable vigour, had already 
shown some rashness in the manner he had pushed 
Reynier's division forward, after passing the Tagus, 
and it was, therefore, easy to conceive that no very 
strict concert would be maintained in their com- 
bined operations. 

Lord Wellington had also established some 
good channels of information. He had a num- 
ber of spies amongst the Spaniards who 
were living within the French lines ; a British 
officer in disguise, constantly visited the French 
armies in the field ; a Spanish state-counsellor, 
living at the head-quarters of the first corps, gave 
intelligence from that side, and a guitar-player 
of celebrity, named Fuentes, repeatedly making 
his way to Madrid, brought advice from thence. 
Mr. Stuart, under cover of vessels licensed to 
fetch corn for France, kept chasse marees con- 
stantly plying along the Biscay coast, by which 
he not only acquired direct information, but faci- 
litated the transmission of intelligence from the 
land spies, amongst whom the most remarkable 
was a cobbler, living in a little hutch at the end 
of the bridge of Irun. This man while plying his 
trade, continued for years, without being suspected, 


to count every French soldier, that passed in or out chap. 
of Spain by that passage, and transmitted their ' 

numbers by the chasse marees to Lisbon. \ Q } 1 - 

. . July- 

With the exception of the state spy at Victor's 

head-quarters, who being a double traitor was in- 
famous, all the persons thus employed were very 
meritorious. The greater number, and the cleverest 
also, were Spanish gentlemen, alcaldes, or poor men, 
who disdaining rewards and disregarding danger, 
acted from a pure spirit of patriotism, and are to be 
lauded alike for their boldness, their talent, and their 
virtue. Many are dead. Fuentes was drowned in 
passing a river, on one of his expeditions ; and the 
alcalde of Caceres, a man, of the clearest courage 
and patriotism, who expended his own property in 
the cause, and spurned at remuneration, was on Fer- 
dinand's restoration cast into a dungeon, where he 
perished ; a victim to the unbounded ingratitude 
and baseness of the monarch he had served so well ! 
With such means lord Wellington did not de- 
spair of baffling the deep policy of the emperor in 
the field. He thought that the saying of Henry 
the Fourth of France, that " large armies would 
starve and small ones be beaten in Spain" was still 
applicable. He felt that a solid possession of 
Portugal and her resources, which, through his 
brother's aid, he hoped to have, would enable 
him either to strike partial blows against the 
French, or oblige them to concentrate in large 
masses, which, confident in his own martial genius 
he felt he could hold in check, while the Spaniards 
ruined the small posts, and disorganized the civil 
administrations in their rear. Hitherto, indeed, 
the Spaniards had not made any such efforts except 
by the partidas, which were insufficient ; but time, 
his own remonstrances, and the palpable advan- 



book tages of the system, he trusted would yet teach 

L them what to do. 

Having deeply meditated upon these matters and 
received his reinforcements from England, he re- 
solved to leave Hill with ten thousand infantry, 
a division of cavalry, and four brigades of artil- 
lery, about Portalegre, Villa Viciosa, and Estre- 
mos. From these rich towns which were beyond the 
influence of the Guadiana fever, the troops could 
rapidly concentrate either for an advance or retreat ; 
and the latter was secured upon Abrantes, or upon 
the communications with Beira, by Niza, and Vilha 
Velha, where a permanent boat-bridge had now 
been established. The front was protected by Elvas, 
Jerumenha, Campo Mayor, and Ouguella ; and 
Castanos also remained in Estremadura with the 
fifth army, which by the return of the cavalry from 
Ayamonte and the formation of Downie's legion 
now amounted to about a thousand infantry and 
nine hundred horse. This force placed on the side 
of Montijo, had Albuquerque and Valencia de Alcan- 
tara as posts of support, and a retreat either by 
the fords of the Tagus near the bridge of Alcantara, 
or upon Portugal by Marvao and Castello de Vide. 
Hill's position was thus so well covered, that he 
could not be surprised, nor even pressed except by 
a very strong army ; and he was always on the 
watch as we shall hereafter find, to make incursions 
against the division of the fifth corps, which re- 
mained in Estremadura. The rest of the army 
was then placed in quarters of refreshment at Cas- 
tello de Vide, Marvao and other places near the 
Tagus, partly to avoid the Guadiana fever, partly 
to meet Marmont's movement to that river. 

When this disposition was made, the English 
general arranged his other measures of offence. The 


conduct of the Portuguese government and the new c Im- 
positions of the French armies had, as Napoleon had 

foreseen, left him no means of undertaking any sus- j ime . 
tained operation ; but, as he was ignorant of the great 
strength of the army of the north, he hoped to find an 
opportunity of taking Ciudad Rodrigo before Mar- 
mont could come to its assistance. For this pur- 
pose he had caused a fine train of iron battering 
guns, and mortars, together with a reinforcement 
of British artillerymen, which had arrived at 
Lisbon from England, to be shipped in large ves- 
sels, and then with some ostentation made them 
sail as it were for Cadiz ; at sea they were however 
shifted on board small craft, and while the original 
vessels actually arrived at Cadiz and Gibraltar, the 
guns were secretly brought first to Oporto and then 
in boats to Lamego. During this process, several 
engineer, artillery, and commissariat officers, were 
sent to meet and transport these guns, and the neces- 
sary stores for a siege, to Villaponte near Celerico ; 
and as one of the principal magazines of the army 
was at Lamego, and a constant intercourse was kept 
up between it and Celerico, another great depot, 
the arrival, and passage of the guns and stores to 
their destination was not likely to attract the atten- 
tion of the French spies. 

Other combinations were also employed, both to 
deceive the enemy and to prepare the means for a 
sudden attack, before the troops commenced their 
march for Beira; but the hiding of such extensive 
preparations from the French would have been 
scarcely possible, if the personal hatred borne to the 
invaders by the peninsulars, combined with the 
latter's peculiar subtlety of character, had not pre- 
vented any information spreading abroad, beyond the 


book fact that artillery had arrived at Oporto. The 


operation of bringing sixty-eight huge guns, with 
juV proportionate stores, across nearly fifty miles of 
mountain, was however one of no mean magnitude ; 
No. v. ' five thousand draft bullocks were required for the 
train alone, and above a thousand militia were for 
several weeks employed merely to repair the road. 

The allies broke up from the Caya the 21st of 
July, and they had received considerable reinforce- 
ments, especially in cavalry, but they were sickly 
and required a change of cantonments ; hence when 
an intercepted despatch gave reason to believe that 
Ciudad Rodrigo was in want of provisions, Welling- 
ton suddenly crossed the Tagus at Vilha Velha, and 
marched in the beginning of August by Castello 
Branco and Penamacor towards Rodrigo, hoping to 
surprise it in a starving state, but giving out that his 
movement was for the sake of healthy quarters. His 
General movement was unmolested save by some French 
JouraYi. 8 dragoons, from the side of Placentia, who captured 
a convoy of seventy mules loaded with wine near 
Pedrogoa, and getting drunk with their booty at- 
tacked some Portuguese infantry, who repulsed 
them and recovered the mules ; but there were 
other ostensible objects besides the obvious one of 
removing from the well-known pestilence of the 
Guadiana, which contributed to blind the French as 
to the secret motives of the English general. We 
have seen that Dorsenne'was menacing Gallicia, and 
that Soult was in full operation against the Mur- 
cians ; it was supposed that he intended to invade 
Murcia itself, and therefore the march of the 
allies had the double object, of saving Gallicia, 
by menacing the rear of the invading army ; and of 
relieving Murcia by forcing Marmont to look after 


Ciudad Rodrigo, and thus draw him away from chap. 
the support of Soult, who would not, it was sup- 

posed, then quit Andalusia. j 811 - 

Gallicia was meanwhile in great danger, for the 
Partidas of the north had been vigorously repressed 
by Caffarelli and Reille, which enabled Dorsenne 
to collect about twenty thousand men on the 
Esla. Abadia, who had succeeded Santocildes, 
was posted with about seven thousand disciplined General 
men behind this river, and he had a reserve ofcorr«pon- 
fifteen hundred at Foncebadon ; but he could mss? 
make no head, for to this number the Gallician di«o,Mss. 
army had again dwindled, and these were starving. 
The 25th the French, having passed the river in 
four columns, made a concentric march upon As- 
torga. Abadia, whose rear-guard sustained a sharp 
conflict near La Baneza, retreated, precisely by the 
same line as sir John Moore had done in 1809, 
and with about the same relative proportion of 
force ; but as he only took the Foncebadon road No. v. 
and did not use the same diligence and skill as that 
general, the enemy forestalling him by Manzanal 
and Bembibre, cut him off from Villa Franca del 
Bierzo and from the road to Lugo, and on the 
27th drove him into the Val des Orres. During 
this operation the division of the army of the 
north, which Bessieres had sent with the convoy 
to Ciudad Rodrigo, entered that place and returned 
to Salamanca. 

The Spanish general having thus lost his line of 
communication with Lugo, and the few stores he 
possessed at Villa Franca, took post at Domingo 
Flores in the Val des Orres, where he entered a Sir H 
strong country, and, under the worst circumstances, corSon- 
could retire upon Portugal and save his troops if ^ss!' 
not his province. But his army which was in the 



book utmost distress before, for shoes and clothing, was 
now ready to disband from misery, and the con- 


Aifust sternat i° n m Gallicia was excessive. That province 
torn by faction, stood helpless before the invader, 
who could, and would, have taken both Coruna 
and Ferrol, but for the sudden arrival of the allies 
on the Coa, which obliged him, for his own safety, 
to return to the plains. Souham, also, who was 
coming from Burgos, by forced marches, to sup- 
port Dorsenne, halted at Rio Seco, and Abadia 
did not fail to ascribe all this to the loss he had 
inflicted, but his vanity was laughed at. 

To have thus saved Gallicia was a great thing. 
That kingdom was the base of all the operations 
against the line of communication with France ; 
from thence went forth, those British squadrons 
which nourished the guerilla warfare in Biscay, 
in the Montana, in Navarre, in the Rioja, and 
the Asturias ; it was the chief resource for the 
supply of cattle to the allied army, it was the 
outwork of Portugal, and honestly and vigorously 
governed, would have been more important than 
Catalonia. But like the rest of Spain it was 
always weak from disorders, and, if the allies had 
remained in Alemtejo, there was nothing to pre- 
vent Dorsenne from conquering it ; for though 
he should not have taken Ferrol and Coruna, 
„ the points of St. Jago, Lugo, Villa Franca, and 
Orense would have given him an entire command 
of the interior, and the Spaniards holding the ports 
only would not have been able to dislodge him. 

Lord Wellington arrived upon the Coa about the 
8th of August, intending, as I have said, first a 
close blockade of Ciudad Rodrtgo, and finally a 
siege ; it was however soon known that the French 
had on the 6th supplied the place for two months, 


and the first part of the design was therefore relin- chap. 

quished. The troops were then quartered near the . 

sources of the Coa and Agueda, close to the line ^*^t 
of communication between Marmont and Dorsenne, 
and in a country where there was still some corn. 
If the enemy advanced in superior numbers, the 
army could retire through a strong country to 
a position of battle near Sabugal, whence the 
communication with Hill was direct. Nor was 
the rest of Beira left unprotected, because the 
French would have exposed their left flank, by any 
advance in the direction of Almeida, and the allies 
could, by Guarda, send detachments to the valley 
of the Mondego in time to secure the magazines at 
Celerico. The line of supply from Lamego along 
which the battering-train was now moving, was 
however rather exposed. 

While the army was in this position, the prepara- 
tions for the siege went on briskly, until Wellington 
learned, contrary to his former belief, that the dis- 
posable force of the army of the north, was above 
twenty thousand good troops ; and consequently, 
that Ciudad Rodrigo could not be attacked in face of 
that corps, and of Marmont 's army. Then changing 
his plan, he resolved to blockade the place, and wait 
for some opportunity to strike a sudden blow, either 
against the fortress, or against the enemy's troops ; 
for it was the foundation of his hopes, that as the 
French could not long remain in masses, for want 
of provisions, and that he could check those masses 
on the frontier of Portugal, so he could always 
force them to concentrate, or suffer the loss of some 
important post. But it is worthy of observation, 
that his plans were based on calculations which did 
not comprise the Gallician army. He had no expec- 

Q 2 


book tation that it would act at all, or if it did, that it 


. L_ would act effectually. It had no cavalry, and the 

1811. i n f an try being undisciplined dared not enter the 

August. Jo r 

plains in face of the enemy's horsemen ; yet this was 
in August 1811, and Gallicia had not seen the face 
of an enemy since June 1809 ! 

Early in September, Marmont, pushing a detach- 
ment from Placencia through the passes, surprised 
a British cavalry piquet, at St. Martin de Trebejo, 
and opened his communications with Dorsenne. 
Nevertheless lord Wellington formed the blockade. 
His head-quarters were fixed at Guinaldo, the 
fifth division was placed at Perales, in observation of 
Marmont, and the first division, now commanded by 
general Graham, occupied Penamacor. A battery 
of artillery, was withdrawn from Hill, and three 
brigades of that general's corps, reinforced by a 
Portuguese regiment, passed the Tagus, and were 
placed on the Pon^ul, in advance of Castello 
Branco, to protect the magazines on that line of com- 
munication. Meanwhile the battering- train was 
collected at Villa de Ponte, the troops were em- 
ployed to prepare gabions and fascines, and the 
engineers instructed two hundred men of the line, 
in the duties of sappers. The bridge over the Coa 
at Almeida which had been broken by Massena, was 
permanently repaired, and the works of Almeida 
itself, were ordered to be once more restored to form 
a place of arms for the battering-train and stores ; 
Carlos d'Espafia came also to Leon to form a new 
army under the protection of the allies, but he was 
without officers, arms, money, or stores, and his 
force was a mere name. 



During the first arrangements, for the blockade chap. 


of Ciudad Rodrigo, the garrison made some excur- 
sions, to beat up the quarters of the British cavalry, 1^' 
and to forage the villages ; and some lancers from 
Salamanca drove Julian Sanchez from Ledesma. 
Meanwhile in Estremadura, Morillo chased the 
enemy from Caceres, and advancing to Montanches, 
menaced Truxillo, but being beaten there by 
general Foy, he returned to Montijo, where some 
French cavalry, arriving from Zafra, again defeated 
him and drove him to Albuquerque. Other mili- 
tary operations, worth relating, there were none, but 
the civil transactions in Portugal were very im- 

Mr. Stuart's exertions had produced some im- 
provement in the Portuguese revenue ; the ranks 
of the infantry were again filling by the return 
of deserters, and by fresh recruits, which, with 
the reinforcements from England had raised the 
actual number of the allied army to upwards of 
eighty thousand men, fifty-six thousand of which 
were British ; the number under arms did not how- 
ever exceed twenty-four thousand Portuguese and 
thirty -three thousand British, of whom five thousand 
were cavalry, with about ninety pieces of artillery. 
The previous operations in Alemtejo had produced . 

r Jr J tr Appendix, 

sickness, which was increasing, and twenty-two g^^'j 
thousand men were in hospital ; and hence, Hill's 


book corps being deducted, lord Wellington could 

'. not bring to the blockade of Ciudad above forty - 

g 811 t * four thousand of all arms, including Sanchez's 
Partida. But Marmont, alone, could in a few 
days bring as many to its succour, and Dorsenne 
always had from twenty to twenty-five thousand 
men in hand ; because the French reinforcements 
had relieved the old garrisons in the north and the 
latter had joined the army in the field. 

At this time the British military chest was quite 
bankrupt, even the muleteers, upon whose fidelity 
and efficiency the war absolutely depended, were six 
months in arrears for wages ; and the disputes with 
the Portuguese government were more acrimonious 
than ever. The regency had proposed a new sys- 
tem of military regulations, calculated to throw the 
burthen of feeding the native troops entirely upon 
the British commissariat, without any reform of 
abuses, and lord Wellington had rejected it, hence 
renewed violence ; and as Beresford had fallen sick 
at Cintra, Mr. Stuart deprived of his support on 
military questions, and himself no longer a member 
of the regency, was unable to restrain the tri- 
umphant faction of the Souzas. The prince regent's 
return to Portugal was prevented by troubles in the 
Brazils, and the regency expecting a long hold of 
power, and foolishly imagining that the war was 
no longer doubtful, were, after the custom of all 
people who employ powerful auxiliaries, devising 
how to get rid of the British army. With this view 
they objected to or neglected every necessary mea- 
sure, and made many absurd demands, such as that 
the British general should pay the expenses of the 
Portuguese post office ; and at the same time they 
preferred various vexatious, and unfounded charges 


against British officers, while gross corruption, and chap. 

oppression of the poorer people, marked the con- . 1 

duct of their own magistrates. g®*J' 

But the fate of Portugal, which to these people 
appeared fixed, was in the eyes of the English 
general more doubtful than ever. Intercepted 
letters gave reasons to believe that the emperor 
was coming to Spain. And this notion was con- 
firmed by the assembling of an army of reserve in 
France, and by the formation of great magazines at 
Burgos, and other places, to supply which, and to 
obtain money, the French generals were exacting 
the fourth of the harvest, and selling the overplus of 
corn again even by retail. Miunte reports of the 
state of these magazines were demanded by Napo- 
leon ; reinforcements, especially of the imperial 
guards, were pouring into Spain, and Wellington 
judging that the emperor must either drive the 
British from the Peninsula, or lower his tone with 
the world, thought that he would invade Portugal 
from the side of Rodrigo, the valley of the Tagus, 
and Alemtejo at the same time ; and that he would 
risk his fleet in a combined attack upon Lisbon by 
sea and land. 

Whether Napoleon really meant this; or whether 
he only spread the report, with a view to restrain 
the allies from any offensive operations during the 
summer, and to mislead the English cabinet as to 
the real state of his negotiations with Russia, 
intending if the latter proved favourable to turn 
his whole force against the Peninsula, does not 
very clearly appear ; yet it is certain that every 
thing in Spain at this time indicated his approach. 
Lord Wellington's opinion that the emperor was 
bound to drive the British army away or lose his 
influence in the world does not however seem quite 


book just ; because the mighty expedition to Moscow, 

J proved, that Napoleon did not want force to conquer 

g^ 1 }* Spain; and success in Russia would have enabled 
him to prolong the war in the Peninsula as a drain 
on the English resources for many years ; which 
was so obvious a policy, that the rest of Europe 
could not from thence draw conclusions unfavourable 
to his influence. 

Under the notion that Napoleon's coming was 
probable, the English general, with characteristic 
prudence, turned his own attention to the security 
of his ancient refuge within the lines, and there- 
fore urgently desired the government to put the 
fortresses in order, repair the roads, and restore 
the bridges broken during Massena's invasion. An 
increased number of workmen were also put to the 
lines, for the engineers had never ceased to improve 
those on the northern bank of the Tagus, and on 
the southern bank the double lines of Almada had 
been continued on a gigantic scale. The de- 
fensive canal there was planned to float ships 
of three hundred tons, and to serve as a passage 
from the Tagus to Setuval by joining the naviga- 
tion of the Sadao and Marateca rivers ; thus con- 
ducing to objects of general utility as well as the 
military defence ; as it will be found that lord 
Wellington did at all times sustain, not only the 
political, and financial, and military affairs, but 
also the agricultural, the commercial, and charitable 
interests of Portugal. The batteries at the mouth 
of the Tagus were likewise put into complete order, 
they were provided with furnaces for heating shot, 
Jones's anc i captain Holloway of the engineers, at a trifling 
the Penm- expense, constructed four jetties at St. Julian's, in 

sular War. . 

such an ingenious manner, that they withstood the 
most tempestuous gales and secured the embarkation 


of the army in any season. Finally the militia chap. 
were again called out, a measure of greater import, - 


in the actual state of affairs, than would at first g^J t ' 
appear ; for the expense was a very heavy drain 
upon the finances, and the number of hands thus 
taken away from agriculture was a serious evil. 

Had all these preparations been duly executed, 
lord Wellington would not have feared even Napo- 
leon ; but all that depended upon the Portuguese 
government, if that can be called government which 
was but a faction, was, as usual, entirely neglected. 
The regency refused to publish any proclamation 
to display the danger, or to call upon the people to 
prepare for future efforts ; and although the ancient 
laws of Portugal provided the most ample means 
for meeting such emergencies, the bridges over the 
Ceira, the Alva and other rivers, on the line of re- 
treat, were left unrepaired. The roads were there- 
fore impassable, and as the rainy season was coming 
on, the safety of the army would have been seriously 
endangered if it had been obliged to retire before 
the emperor. The regency pleaded want of money, 
but this also could be traced to their own negligence 
in the collection of the taxes, for which there was 
no solid reason ; because, with the exception of the 
devastated districts, the people were actually richer 
than they had ever been, not indeed in goods, but in 
hard cash, derived from the enormous sums expended 
by the British army. To add to these embarrass- 
ments the secret correspondents of the army on the 
side of Salamanca suddenly ceased their communica- 
tions, and it was at first feared they had paid with 
their lives for the culpable indiscretion of the Portu- 
guese government ; for the latter had published, in 
the Lisbon Gazette, all the secret information sent to 


book Silveira, which being copied into the English 



newspapers, drew the enemy's attention. Fortu- 
nately this alarm proved false, but a sense of the 
other difficulties was greatly aggravated to the 
English general, by comparison of his situation with 
that of the enemy ; neither necessity nor remunera- 
tion, could procure for him due assistance from 
Weiiing- the Portuguese people, while the French generals 
correspon- had merely to issue their orders to the Spaniards 
LordLivcr- through the prefects of the provinces, and all 
p00 ' 'means of transport or other succour, possible to be 
obtained, were sure to be provided on the day and 
at the place indicated. 

In the midst of these cares lord Wellington 
was suddenly called into military action by the 
approach of the enemy. Ciudad Rodrigo having 
been blockaded for six weeks wanted food, and 
Marmont, who had received a reinforcement of 
eleven thousand men from France, and had now fifty 
thousand, present under arms, in the valley of the 
Tagus, being in pain for the garrison, had concerted 
with Dorsenne a great combined operation for its 
succour. In this view Truxillo had been occupied 
by a part of the fifth corps, and Girard with the 
remainder had advanced to Merida, while Foy, 
reinforced by a strong division of the army of the 
centre, occupied Placentia. Marmont himself quit- 
ting Talavera, had passed the mountains and col- 
lected a large convoy at Bejar ; at the same time 
Dorsenne reinforced by eight thousand men under 
Souham, had collected another convoy at Sala- 
manca, and leaving Bonnet's division, which now 
included Mayer's troops, at Astorga, to watch the 
Gallicians, came down to Tamames. They met on 
the 21st, their united armies presenting a mass 


of sixty thousand men, of which six thousand were chap. 


cavalry ; and they had above a hundred pieces of 

artillery. ^11. 

The English general, who had expected this 
movement, immediately concentrated his scattered 
troops. He could not fight beyond the Agueda, 
but he did not think fit to retreat until he had seen 
their whole army, lest a detachment should relieve 
the place to his dishonour. Hence to make the 
enemy display his force, he established himself in 
the following positions near the fortress. 

The third division, reinforced by three squadrons 
of German and British cavalry, formed his centre. 
It was posted on the heights of Elbodon and Pas- 
tores, on the left of the Agueda, and within three 
miles of Ciudad, commanding a complete prospect 
of the plains round that place. 

The right wing, composed of the light division, 
some squadrons of cavalry, and six guns, was posted 
beyond the Agueda, and behind the Vadillo, a river 
rising in the Peiia de Francia, and flowing in a 
rugged channel to the Agueda, which it joins about 
three miles above Rodrigo ; from this line an enemy 
coming from the eastern passes of the hills could be 

The left wing, composed of the sixth division 
and Anson's brigade of cavalry, the whole under 
general Graham, was placed at Espeja, on the 
lower Azava, with advanced posts at Carpio and 
Marialva. From thence to Ciudad Rodrigo was 
about eight miles over a plain, and on Graham's 
left, Julian Sanchez's Partida, nominally com- 
manded by Carlos d'Espaiia, was spread along 
the lower Agueda in observation. The heads 
of the columns were therefore presented on three 


.book points to the fortress ; namely, at the ford of the 


Vadillo ; and the heights of Pastores and Espeja. 
g^pj" The communication between the left and centre 
was kept up by two brigades of heavy cavalry, 
posted on the Upper Azava, and supported at Cam- 
pillo by Pack's Portuguese brigade. But the left 
of the army was very distant from Guinaldo, which 
was the pivot of operations, and to obviate the 
danger of making a flank march in retreat, should 
the enemy advance, the seventh division was placed 
in reserve at Alamedillo, and the first division at 
Nava dAver. Thus the allied army was spread 
out on the different roads which led, like the sticks 
of a fan, to one point on the Coa. 

The fifth division remained at St. Payo, watching 
the passes from Estremadura, lest Foy should from 
that direction fall on the rear of the right wing ; and 
as Marmont's movement affected the line of commu- 
nication along the eastern frontier, general Hill first 
sent Hamilton's Portuguese towards Alburquerque, 
to support the Spanish cavalry, which was menaced 
by the fifth corps, and then brought the remainder 
of his troops nearer to the Tagus, in readiness to 
take the place of his third brigade, which now 
marched from the Pon^ul to Penamacor. 

Wellington's position before Rodrigo was very 
extensive, and therefore very weak. The Agueda, 
although fordable in many places during fine 
weather, was liable to sudden freshes, and was on 
both sides lined with high ridges. The heights, 
occupied by the troops, on the left bank, were about 
three miles wide, ending rather abruptly above Pas- 
tores and Elbodon, and they were flanked by the great 
plains and woods, which extend from Ciudad to the 
bed of the Coa. The position of Elbodon itself, 




which was held by the centre of the army, was, chap. 

therefore, not tenable against an enemy command- , L_ 

ing these plains ; and as the wings were distant 
their lines of retreat were liable to be cut, if the 
centre should be briskly pushed back beyond 
Guinaldo. But, at the latter place, three field 
redoubts had been constructed, on the high land, 
with a view to impose upon the enemy, and so gain 
time to assemble and feel Marmont's disposition for 
a battle, because a retreat behind the Coa was to be 
avoided if possible. 

On the 23d the French advanced from Tamames, 
and encamped behind the hills to the north-east of 
Ciudad Rodrigo. Then a strong detachment en- 
tered the plain, and having communicated with the 
garrison, and examined the position of the light divi- 
sion on the Vadillo returned. 

The 24th, six thousand cavalry, with four divi- 
sions of infantry, crossed the hills in two columns, 
and placing some troops in observation on the 
Vadillo, introduced the convoy. On this day the 
fourth division of the allies, was brought up to the 
position of Guinaldo, and the redoubts were com- 
pleted, yet no other change was made, for it was 
thought the French would not advance further. But 
the 25th, soon after daybreak, fourteen squadrons 
of the imperial guards drove the outposts of the left 
wing from Carpio across the Azava, and the lancers 
of Berg crossed that river in pursuit, they were how- 
ever flanked by some infantry in a wood, and then 
charged and beaten by two squadrons of the four- 
teenth, and sixteenth, dragoons, who reoccupied the 
post at Carpio. 

During this skirmish, fourteen battalions of in- 
fantry, thirty squadrons of cavalry, and twelve 


book guns, the whole under Montbrun, passed the 
'._ Agueda by the bridge of Rodrigo and the fords 

Sent above it, and marched towards Guinaldo. The 
road soon divided, one branch turning the Elbodon 
heights on the right hand, the other leading nearer 
to the Agueda, and passing through the villages 
of Pastores, La Encina, and Elbodon ; and as the 
point of divarication was covered by a gentle 
ridge, it was for some time doubtful which branch 
the French would follow. In a short time this 
doubt was decided. Their cavalry poured along 
the right-hand road leading directly to Guinaldo, 
the small advanced posts which the allied squadrons 
had on the plain were rapidly driven in, and the 
enemy's horsemen without waiting for their in- 
fantry commenced the 


The position of the third division was completely 
turned by this movement, and the action began very 
disadvantageously, for the seventy-fourth and sixtieth 
regiments, being at Pastores, on the right, were too 
distant to be called in, and Picton being with 
three other regiments, at Elbodon, could not take 
any immediate part in the fight. Hence, as the 
French force was considerable, Wellington sent to 
Guinaldo for a brigade of the fourth division, 
and meanwhile directed general Colville to draw 
up the seventy-seventh and fifth British regiments, 
the twenty-first Portuguese, and two brigades of 
artillery of the same nation, on the hill over which 
the road to Guinaldo passed, supporting their flanks 
with Alten's three squadrons. The height, thus oc- 




cupied by the allies, was convex towards the chap. 
enemy, and covered in front and on both flanks, by . 
deep ravines, but it was too extensive for their 
numbers ; and before Picton could bring in the 
troops from the village of Elbodon, the crisis of 
the combat passed. The Portuguese guns had sent 
their shot amongst the thickest, of Montbrun's horse- 
men in the plain, but the latter passed the front 
ravine in half squadrons, and with amazing vigour 
riding up the rough height, on three sides, fell 
vehemently upon the allies. Neither the loose fire 
of the infantry, nor of the artillery, could stop 
them, but they were checked by the fine fighting 
of the cavalry, who charged the heads of the as- 
cending masses, not once but twenty times, and 
always with a good will, thus maintaining the 
upper ground for above an hour. 

It was astonishing to see so few troopers bearing up 
against that surging multitude, even favoured as the 
former were by the steep rocky nature of the ground ; 
but Montbrun obstinate to win soon brought up his 
artillery, and his horsemen gaining ground in the 
centre, cut down some of the gunners and cap- 
tured the guns ; and one of the British squadrons 
by charging too far got entangled in the intricacy 
of the ravines. The danger was then imminent, 
when suddenly the fifth regiment, led by major Ridge, 
a daring spirit, darted into the midst of the French 
cavalry, and retook the artillery, which again opened 
its fire ; and nearly at the same time the seventy- 
seventh, supported by the twenty-first Portuguese, 
repulsed the enemy on the left. However, this 
charging of a weak line of infantry against a pow- 
erful cavalry, could only check the foe at that 
particular point. Montbrun still pressed onwards 


book with fresh masses, against the left flank of the allies, 


while other squadrons penetrated between the right 
l 8i }' flank and the village of Elbodon. From the enclo- 

Sept. o 

sures and vineyards of that village, Picton was 
at this time with difficulty and some confusion ex- 
tricating his regiments ; the expected brigade of the 
fourth division was not yet in sight, and the French 
infantry was rapidly approaching : the position was 
no longer tenable, and lord Wellington directed both 
Picton and Colville to fall back and unite in the 
plain behind. 

Colville forming his battalions in two squares 
immediately descended from the hill, but Picton 
had a considerable distance to move, and at this 
moment, the allied squadrons, fearing to be sur- 
rounded by the French, who had completely turned 
their right, galloped away, and took refuge with 
the Portuguese regiment, which was farthest in re- 
treat. Then the fifth and seventy-seventh, two 
weak battalions formed in one square, were quite 
exposed, and in an instant the whole of the French 
cavalry came thundering down upon them. But 
how vain, how fruitless to match the sword with 
the musket ! To send the charging horseman against 
the steadfast veteran ! The multitudinous squad- 
rons, rending the skies with their shouts, and 
closing upon the glowing squares, like the falling 
edges of a burning crater, were as instantly re- 
jected, scorched, and scattered abroad ; and the 
rolling peal of musketry had scarcely ceased to 
echo in the hills, when bayonets glittered at the 
edge of the smoke, and with firm and even step, 
the British regiments came forth like the holy men 
from the Assyrian's furnace. 

Picton now effected his junction and the whole 


retired over the plain to the position at Guinaldo, chap. 

. . VIII. 

which was about six miles distant. The French, L_ 

although fearing to renew the close attack, followed, g® 1 ** 
and plied the troops with shot and shell, until about 
four o'clock in the evening, when the entrenched 
camp was gained. Here the fourth division pre- 
sented a fresh front, Pack's brigade came up from 
Campillo, and the heavy cavalry from the Upper 
Azava, being also brought into line, the action 
ceased. By this retrograde movement of the left 
and centre of the third division, the seventy -fourth 
and the sixtieth regiments, posted at Pastores, were 
cut off; they however crossed the Agueda by a 
ford, and moving up the right bank happily reached 
Guinaldo in the night, after a march of fifteen 
hours, in the course of which they captured a 
French cavalry patrol. 

During the retreat from Elbodon, the left wing 
of the army was ordered to fall back on the first 
division, at Nava d'Aver, but to keep posts in 
observation on the Azava. Carlos d'Espafia retired 
with Sanchez's infantry behind the Coa, and the 
guerilla chief himself passed with his cavalry into 
the French rear. The seventh division was with- 
drawn from Allemadilla to Albergaria, and the 
head-quarters baggage moved to Casilla de Flores. 
The light division should have marched to Gui- 
naldo ; general Craufurd received the order at 
two o'clock, he plainly heard the cannonade, and 
might easily have reached Guinaldo before mid- 
night, but he only marched to Cespedosa, one 
league from the Vadillo, which river was immediately 
passed by fifteen hundred French. The position at 
Guinaldo was therefore occupied by only fourteen 
thousand men, of which about two thousand six 

VOL. iv. ft 


book hundred were cavalry. The left of the army, con- 

. '. centrated at Nava d'Aver, under Graham, was ten 

g^ 1 im miles distant ; the light division being at Cespedosa 
and debarred the direct route by the ford of Carros, 
was sixteen miles distant, and the fifth division, 
posted at Payo in the mountains, was twelve miles 
distant. Meanwhile Marmont brought up a second 
division of infantry, and in the course of the night, 
and the following day, united sixty thousand 
men in front of Guinaldo. The situation of the 
English general was become most critical, yet he 
would not abandon the light division, which did 
not arrive until after three o'clock in the evening. 
Marmont's fortune was fixed in that hour ! He 
knew nothing of the allies' true situation, and 
having detached a strong column by the valley of 
the Azava to menace their left, contented himself 
with making an ostentatious display of the imperial 
guards in the plain, instead of attacking an adver- 
sary who was too weak to fight,, and laughing to see 
him so employed, soon changed the state of affairs. 
In the night, Wellington by a skilful concentric 
movement from Guinaldo, Nava d'Aver, Perales, 
and Payo, united the whole army on new 
ground, between the Coa and the sources of the 
Agueda, twelve miles behind Guinaldo ; and it 
is a curious fact that Marmont had so little know- 
ledge of his own advantages, that instead of 
harassing the allies in this difficult movement, he 
also retired during the night, and was actually 
in march to the rear, when the scouts of the co- 
lumn, which had marched by the valley of Azava, 
brought word that the allies were in retreat, and 
their divisions still widely separated. Dorsenne 
then insisted that Marmont should wheel round 


and pursue, but lord Wellington was already in a chap. 

strong position behind the stream of the Villa Maior - 

The fifth division, coming up from Payo, was s * 
now on the right at Aldea Velha, the fourth and 
light divisions, with Victor Alten's cavalry, and the 
heavy dragoons, under sir Stapleton Cotton, were 
in the centre in front of Alfayates ; the convent 
of Sacaparte was on their left, and the line was 
prolonged to Rebulon by Pack's and M'Mahon's 
Portuguese brigades ; the sixth division with An- 
son's cavalry closed the line at Bismula. The 
cavalry picquets were pushed beyond the Villa 
Maior in front of Aldea Ponte, in the centre, and 
towards Furcalhos on the right ; and the third and 
seventh divisions were in reserve behind Alfayates. 
This position was extensive, but the days were 
short, serious dispositions were required for a 
general attack, and the allies could not be turned, 
because they covered all the practicable roads lead- 
ing to the bridges and fords of the Coa. 


The French, moving by the roads of Furcalhos 
and of Aldea de Ponte, were checked by the pic- 
quets of the light division on the former; but on the 
latter their horsemen drove the cavalry posts from 
the hills, and across the stream of the Villa Maior, 
and about ten o'clock took possession of Aldea de 

At twelve o'clock the head of the infantry 
came up and immediately attacked general Pa- 
kenham, then commanding a brigade of the 
fourth division, which was posted on the opposite 

it 2 


book heights. Lord Wellington arrived at the same 


moment, and directed the seventh fuzileers to 

1811 - charge in line, and he supported them on each 
flank with a Portuguese regiment in column. The 
French, who had advanced well up the hill, were 
driven back, and though they afterwards attempted 
to turn the brigade by a wood, which was distant 
about musket-shot from the right, while their 
cavalry advanced to the foot of the hills, the 
artillery sufficed to baffle the effort. Then the 
English general taking the offensive, directed the 
twenty-third fuzileers and Portuguese ca^adores to 
turn the French left, and seize the opposite hills, 
which finished the action, and Aldea de Ponte was 
again occupied by the allies. Wellington, who had 
been much exposed to the fire, rode to another part 
of the position, but scarcely had he departed when 
the French from the Forcalhos road joined those 
near Aldea de Ponte, and at five o'clock re- 
newing the attack retook the village. Pakenham, 
with his fuzileers, immediately recovered it, but 
the French were very numerous, the country rugged, 
and so wooded, that he could not tell what was 
passing on the flanks, wherefore, knowing that the 
chosen ground of battle was behind the Coa, he 
abandoned Aldea de Ponte and regained his original 

In the night the allies retreated, and on the 
morning of the 28th occupied a new and very 
strong position in front of the Coa, the right resting 
on the Sierra de Mesas, the centre covered by the 
village of Soita, the left at Rendo upon the Coa. 
The whole army thus enclosed, as it were in a deep 
loop of the Coa river could only be attacked on 
a narrow front, and Marmont, who had brought up 


but a few days' provisions and could gather none in chap. 
that country, retired the same day. This terminated 

the operations. The French placed a fresh garri- g®**' 
son in Ciudad Rodrigo ; Dorsenne marched to Sala- 
manca; a strong division was posted at Alba de 
Tormes to communicate with Marmont, and the 
latter resumed his old position in the valley of the 
Tagus. At the same time Foy, who had advanced 
with his two divisions as far as Zarza Mayor, in the 
direction of Castello Branco, returned to Placentia; 
Girard also, being threatened by Hamilton's Portu- 
guese division, which Hill had sent to check his 
advance, left two thousand men of the fifth corps at 
Merida, and retired to Zafra ; and when these move- 
ments were known, the light division reinforced by 
some cavalry resumed the nominal blockade of 
Ciudad Rodrigo, in concert with Julian Sanchez. 
The rest of the army was cantoned on both sides of 
the Coa, and head-quarters were fixed at Frenada. 
Nearly a month had been employed by the 

French in the preparation and execution of this victors 
1 \ et Con- 

great operation, which terminated so feebly and so ^ tes dc3 

ill i i i Fran 9 ois. 

abruptly, because the generals were as usual at 
variance. They had victualled Ciudad Rodrigo, 
but they had lost the favourable opportunity of in- 
vading Gallicia. Nothing had been gained in the 
field, time was lost, and the English general's plans 
were forwarded. 


1°. Lord Wellington's position behind the Soita 
has been noticed by two recent authors. The one London- 
condemns the imprudence of offering battle on Narrate 


book ground whence there was no retreat; the other in- 
xiv. . 
. timates that it was assumed in contempt of the 

g^J" adversary's prowess. This last appears a mere 
shift to evade what was not understood, for if lord 
the Penin- Wellington had despised Marmont, he would have 
Campaigns fought him beyond the Agueda. But sixty thousand 
French soldiers were never to be despised, neither 
was Wellington a man to put an army in jeopardy 
from any overweening confidence ; and it is not 
difficult to show that his position was chosen 
well, without imprudence, and without pre- 

The space between the Sierra de Mesas and the 
Coa was less than six miles, and the part open to 
attack was very much reduced by the rugged bed 
of a torrent which covered the left. Forty thou- 
sand men were quite able to defend this line, which 
was scarcely more than one-third of their full front; 
and as the roads were bad, the country hilly and 
much broken with woods and ravines, the supe- 
riority of the enemy's horse and guns would have 
availed him little. Lord Wellington had a right to 
be bold against an adversary who had not molested 
him at Guinaldo, and it is always of importance to 
show a menacing front. It was also certain that 
great combinations must have been made by Mar- 
mont, before he could fight a general battle on such 
ground ; it was equally certain that he could only 
have a few days' provisions with his army, and that 
the neighbourhood could not supply him. It was, 
therefore, reasonable to expect that he would retire 
rather than fight, and he did so. 

Let us- however, take the other side, and suppose 
that Marmont was prepared and resolute to bring 
on a great battle. The position behind Soita would 



still have been good. The French were indeed too chap. 

strong to be fought with on a plain, yet not strong 1_ 

enough to warrant a retreat indicating fear ; hence 
the allies had retired slowly for three days, each day 
engaged, and the enemy's powerful horse and artil- 
lery was always close upon their rear. Now the bed 
of the Coa, which was extremely rugged, furnished 
only a few points for crossing, of which the prin- 
cipal were, the ford of Serraleira behind the right 
of the allies ; the ford of Rapoulha de Coa behind 
their left ; and the bridge of Sabugal behind their 
centre. The ways to those points were narrow, 
and the passage of the river, with all the baggage, 
could not have been easily effected in face of an 
enemy without some loss and perhaps dishonour : 
and had lord Wellington been unable to hold his 
position in a battle, the difficulty of passing the 
river would not have been very much increased, 
because his incumbrances would all have been at 
the other side, and there was a second range of 
heights half-a-mile in front of Sabugal favourable 
for a rear-guard. The position of Soita appears 
therefore to have been chosen with good judgment 
in regard to the immediate object of opposing the 
enemy ; but it is certain that the battering train, 
then between Pinhel and Villa Ponte, was com- 
pletely exposed to the enemy. Marmont, however, 
had not sufficiently considered his enterprize, and 
knew not where or how to strike. 

2°. The position of Aldea Ponte, was equally 
well chosen. Had the allies retreated at once 
from Guinaldo, to Soita, baggage and stores would 
have been lost, and the retrograde movement have 
had the appearance of a flight ; the road from 
Payo would have been uncovered, and the junc- 


hook tion of the fifth division endangered. But in 



the position taken up, the points of junction of all 
g ^' the roads were occupied, and as each point was 
strong in itself, it was not difficult for a quick- 
sighted general, perfectly acquainted with the 
country, and having excellent troops, to check the 
heads of the enemy's columns, until the baggage 
had gained a sufficient offing, and the fifth division 
had taken its place in line. 

3°. The position at Guinaldo was very different 
from the others. The previous entrenching of it 
proved lord Wellingtons foresight, and he remained 
there thirty-six hours, that is, from mid-day of the 
25th until mid-night of the 26th, which proved his 
firmness. It is said that sir George Murray advised 
him to abandon it in the night of the 25th, and that 
arrangements were actually made in that view, yet 
anxious for the safety of the light division he would 
not stir. The object was certainly one of an impor- 
tance sufficient to justify the resolution, but the reso- 
lution itself was one of those daring strokes of genius 
which the ordinary rules of art were never made to 
controul. The position was contracted, of no great 
natural strength in front, and easily to be turned ; 
the entrenchments constructed were only a few 
breastworks and two weak field redoubts, open in 
rear, and without palisades ; not more than fourteen 
thousand British and Portuguese troops were in 
line, and sixty thousand French veterans with a 
hundred pieces of artillery were before them ! 
When Marmont heard of the escape of the light, 
division, and discovered the deceit, he prophetically 
exclaimed, alluding to Napoleon's fortune, "And 
Wellingtons star, it also is bright ! " 

4 C . The positions of Aldea Ponte and Soita are 


to be commended, that at Guinaldo to be admired chap 
rather than imitated, but the preceding operations VIIK 
are censurable. The country immediately beyond 18U - 
Ciudad Rodrigo offered no covering position for a ^ 
siege or blockade ; and the sudden floods, to which 
the Agueda is subject, rendered the communications 
with the left bank precarious. Nor though bridges 
had been secured, could Wellington have ventured' 
to encamp round the place with lines of contra- 
vallation and circumvallation, on both sides of the 
river; because Marmont's army would then have 
advanced from Placencia to Castello Branco, have 
seized the passage over the Tagus at Vilha Velha, 
and in concert with the fifth corps endangered the 
safety of Hill. This would have obliged the allies 
to quit their entrenched camp, and Dorsenne could 
then have revictualled the place. It was therefore 
necessary to hold a strong central position with 
respect to Marmont and Dorsenne, to keep both 
in check while separate, and to oppose them when 
united. This position was on the Coa, and as 
Salamanca or Bejar, the nearest points where 
convoys could be collected for Ciudad Rodrigo, 
were from fifty to sixty miles distant, lord Wel- 
lington's object, namely the forcing the French to 
assemble in large bodies without any adequate re- 
sult, could be, and was obtained by a distant as 
well as by a close investment. 

So far all was well calculated, but when Marmont 
and Dorsenne arrived with sixty thousand men at 
Ciudad Rodrigo, the aspect of affairs entirely 
changed, and as the English general could not 
dispute the entrance of the convoy, he should have 
concentrated his army at once behind Guinaldo. 
Instead of doing this he kept it extended on a line of 


book many miles and the right wing separated from the 

L centre by a difficult river. In his despatch, he 

Sept sa y s > tnat > fr° m some uncertainty in his estimate 
of the enemy's numbers, it was necessary to ascer- 
tain their exact strength by actual observation ; 
but this is rather an excuse than a valid reason, 
because, for this object, which could be obtained 
by other means, he risked the loss of his whole 
army, and violated two vital rules of war which 
forbid — 

1°. The parcelling of an army before a concen- 
trated enemy. 

2°. The fixing of your own point of concentra- 
tion within the enemy's reach. 

Now lord Wellington's position on the 24th and 
25th extended from the ford of the Vadillo on the 
right of the Agueda, to Marialva on the Azava ; 
the distance either from the Vadillo, or Mari- 
alva, to Guinaldo, was as great as that from 
Ciudad to Guinaldo, and by worse roads ; and the 
distance from Ciudad to Elbodon was as nothing, 
compared to the distance of the wings from the 
same place. Wherefore when Montbrun attacked, 
at Elbodon, the allies' wings were cut off, and the 
escape of the third and light divisions, and of the 
troops at Pastores, was a matter of fortune and 
gallantry, rather than of generalship ; that is, in 
the x enlarged sense of the last word, for it cannot 
be denied that the actual movements of the troops 
were conducted with consummate skill. 

But what if Marmont, instead of being drawn 

by circumstances into a series of ill-combined, and 

partial attacks, had previously made dispositions 

Appendix, f or a g rea t battle ? He certainly knew, through the 

section l. garrison, the real situation of the allies, and he also 


knew of the camp at Guinaldo, which being on their C ^J±Y- 
line of retreat was the important point. If he had 


issued from the fortress before daybreak on the Sept. 
25th with the whole or even half of his forces, he 
could have reached Campillo in two hours with 
one column, while another fell on the position at 
Pastores and Elbodon ; the third division, thus 
attacked, would have been enveloped and captured, 
or broken and driven over the Agueda, by the ford 
of Zamara, and would have been irretrievably 
separated from Guinaldo. And if this division had 
even reached Guinaldo, the French army would 
have arrived with it in such overwhelming numbers, 
that the fourth division could not have restored 
the battle ; meanwhile a few thousand men thrown 
across the ford of Caros near Robleda would have 
sufficed to keep the light division at bay, because 
the channel of the Robleda torrent, over which their 
retreat lay, was a very deep and rugged ravine. 
The centre being broken the French could, at choice, 
have either surrounded the light division, or di- 
rected the mass of their forces against the reserves, 
and then the left wing under Graham would have 
had to retreat from the Azava over the plains 
towards Almeida. 

It may be said that all the French were not up 
on the 25th, but they might have been so, and as 
lord Wellington was resolved to see their number 
he would have been in the same position the 26th. 
It is however sufficient to remark that the allies 
exclusive of the fifth division, which was at Payo, 
did not exceed thirty-five thousand men of all 
arms ; that they were on an irregular line of at 
least twenty miles, and mostly in an open country ; 
that at no point were the troops more than eight, 


book and at the principal point, namely Pastores, only 


three, miles, from a fortress from whence sixty 
Sept thousand infantry and six thousand cavalry, with 
one hundred and twenty guns were ready to issue. 
Finally the point of concentration at Guinaldo was 
only twelve miles from that fortress. The allies 
escaped because their adversary was blind ! Lord 
Wellington's conduct at Guinaldo was above rules, 
but at Elbodon it was against rules, which is just 
the difference between genius and error. 

4°. In these operations Marmont gave proof that 
as a general he was rather shining than great. He 
was in error throughout. Before he commenced 
his march he had desired Girard to advance on the 
side of the Alemtejo, assuring him that the whole 
of the allied army, and even the Spanish troops 
under Castanos, had crossed the Tagus to operate 
No P v. 1X ' against Rodrigo ; but in fact only one brigade of 
Hill's corps had moved, and Girard would have 
been destroyed, if, fortunately for him, the allies 
had not intercepted the original and duplicate of 
the letter containing this false information. 

5°. When Marmont brought his convoy into 
Ciudad, it would appear he had no intention of fight- 
ing, but tempted by the false position of the allies, 
and angry at the repulse of his cavalry on the Lower 
Azava, he turned his scouting troops into columns of 
attack. And yet he permitted his adversary to throw 
dust in his eyes for thirty-six hours at Guinaldo ; 
and at Aldea Ponte his attack was a useless waste 
of men, because there was no local advantage 
offered, and he did not intend a great battle. 

6°. The loss incurred in the different combats was 
not great. About three hundred men and officers 
fell on the part of the allies, and on that of the French 


rather more, because of the fire of the squares and chap. 
artillery at Elbodon. But the movements during the 

three days were full of interest, and instruction, g 811, 
and diversified also by brilliant examples of heroism. 
Ridge's daring charge has been already noticed, 
and it was in one of the cavalry encounters, that a 
French officer in the act of striking at the gallant 
Felton Harvey of the fourteenth dragoons, per- 
ceived that he had only one arm, and with a rapid 
movement brought down his sword into a salute 
and passed on ! Such was the state of the war on 
the frontier of Portugal ; in the next book will be 
found the contemporary events in Spain. 




book Northern Provinces. The invasion of Gallicia, 

which had been arrested by the arrival of the allies on 


the Coa, would have been a most serious calamity. 
Abadia, a weak man, with troops, distressed for 
provisions and clothing, was on bad terms with the 
chief of his staff Moscosa, whom he feared, and on 
Appendix, worse terms with the junta. The great road to Coruna 
section 1. was °P en ? an d although general Walker, seeing the 
danger, advised that Ferrol, which was indefensible, 
should be dismantled, and the guns, amounting to 
fifteen hundred, with the timber and vessels of war 
in the harbour, transferred to Coruna, neither that 
nor any other useful measure was executed. 

Before this, overtures had been made to the 
Spanish government, to take Spanish troops into 
British pay after the manner of the Portuguese ; 
but the regency remembering the prodigality of 
Canning demanded three millions yearly, besides 
arms and clothing, without which they said the 
Spaniards could make no efficient exertions ! To 
introduce British officers into the service on any 
other terms was not possible, because the Spanish 


military were indignant at what they termed the chap. ; 

degradation of such a proposal. The Perceval ! — 

faction finding it thus, and wanting greatness of 1811, 
mind to support Wellington, on a scale commen- 
surate with his talents, then turned their attention 
to the encouragement of the Partidas, as being less 
expensive, and affording an example to the con- 
tinental nations of popular and protracted resistance 
to France. 

Sir Howard Douglas, who succeeded general 
Walker as military agent, (these officers must not 
be confounded with the military agents originally 
sent out, and whose mischievous proceedings I 
have had occasion to notice,) was directed to en- 
courage those bodies by increased supplies, and 
to combine their movements better with each other 
and with the British squadron in the Bay of Biscay. sirH. 
Lord Wellington at the desire of government, sent correspon- 
to the guerilla chiefs, military presents, with a letter mss? 
acknowledging the importance of their services, and 
this was not mere compliment, for he had indeed 
derived great advantages from their exertions, and 
thought he had derived more, because he only knew 
of their exploits by hearsay. When he afterwards 
advanced into Spain and saw them closely, he was 
forced to acknowledge that the guerillas, although 
active and willing, and although their operations in 
general occasioned the utmost annoyance to the 
enemy, were so little disciplined that they could do 
nothing against the French troops unless the latter 
were very inferior in numbers. If the French 
took post in a house or church of which they only 
barricadoed the entrance, both regular troops and 
guerillas were so ill equipped as military bodies, 
that their enemy could remain in security until 


book relieved. In like manner Napoleon reprimanding 

! his generals for suffering the Partidas to gain any 

g^J' head, observed, that when cut off from communi- 
cation with the English ships they were a nullity ! 
sir h. Douglas arrived just as Dorsenne's retreat enabled 

corr g esp S on- Abadia to resume his position on the frontier, but 
mss.' the army was in a miserable state ; the wet season 
was setting in upon men, destitute of even the ne- 
cessaries of life, although the province abounded 
in cattle and goods, which could be easily pro- 
cured, because money, although plentiful, was ge- 
nerally hoarded, and commodities were therefore 
cheap, and could be obtained in lieu of taxes at 
the market-price. An extraordinary increase of the 
customs, arising from the trade of Santander and 
Bilbao being transferred to Coruiia by the war, 
also offered a valuable resource ; the harbour was 
filled with colonial goods, and as the appetites of 
men generally stifle patriotism, and baffle power, a 
licensed commerce was carried on with the enemy's 
ports in Biscay; yet without judgment as related 
to the war, for the return was iron, to re-export to 
the colonies, whereas by an internal traffic of the 
same kind, clothes and grain for the troops might 
have been had from Castile and Leon. But con- 
fusion and corruption every where prevailed, the 
exigences of the war were always the last things 
cared for, and the starving soldiers committed a 
thousand excesses with impunity, for where there 
is no food or pay, there can be no discipline. 

The people were oppressed with imposts, legal 
and illegal, and yet the defalcation in the revenue 
was great, and the monopoly of tobacco the principal 
financial resource, was injured by the smuggling 
arising from the unsettled nature of the times. 




The annual charge on the province was about chap. 
£1,300,000, the actual receipts were less than - 
£500,000, and the junta endeavoured to supply 
the deficiency by an extraordinary contribution from 
all property, save that of day-labourers, which they 
expected would produce sixty millions of reals 
(£750,000). But a corrupt and vexatious collection 
of this tax tormented the people without filling the 
treasury ; the clergy, and the richer classes, were, 
as in Portugal, favoured, and it yielded, in six 
months, less than a seventh part. 

From this state of affairs two inferences may be 
safely drawn : — 1°, That England and not Gallicia 
had hitherto supported the war here, as in other 
parts of the Peninsula. 2°. That as England had 
in 1 808-9 paid to Gallicia three millions of hard 
dollars, and given other succours sufficient for 
double the number of troops employed, the de- 
ficiency of the revenue had been amply compen- 
sated, and the causes of distress must be sought 
for in the proceedings of the authorities, and in the 
anomalous nature of the war itself. The successive 
juntas, apprehensive of offending the people, were 
always inert in the civil administration, and either 
too corrupt, or too incapable, to apply the succours 
from England, justly or wisely. The junta of this 
period was, like its predecessors, factious and in- 
triguing ; it was hostile to the junta of Leon, un- 
friendly to that of Asturias, jealous and contem- 
ptuous of the military leaders ; in return these last 
abhorred the junta, and were tormented with factions 
of their own. The regular officers hated the gue- 
rillas, and endeavoured to get the controul of the 
succours granted, by England, to the latter ; and 
as they necessarily lived by plundering their own 
vol. iv. s 



jiook countrymen, they strenuously opposed the arming 
" of the peasants, partly from fear lest the latter 

should resist this license, partly because the re- 
publican, and anti-English spirit, which was grow- 
ing up in the cortes had also reached this quarter. 

The clergy clung to the peasantry, with whom 
they had great influence, but the army, which had 
imbibed liberal words, rather than principles, was 
inimical to them. A press had been established at 
head-quarters, from whence issued political papers 
either original, or repeated from the libels at Cadiz, 
in which, the Portuguese were called slaves, for 
submitting to British influence ; and it was openly 
avowed that the French yoke was preferable to that 
of England ; the guerilla system, and the arming 
of the people were also attacked, and these writings 
were met by other political papers from the civil 
press at Coruna and St. Jago. The frequent 
changes of commanders rendered all the evils more 
prominent; for the local government had legal power 
to meddle with the military arrangements, and every 
change of commander produced a new difficulty. 
Thus the junta refused to acknowledge Abadia as 
their president during the absence of Castanos, 
he in return complained alike of their neglect and 
of their interference ; and when they proposed to 
establish a general depot at Lugo he marched a part 
of his army there to prevent it. 

But the occult source of most of these difficulties 
is to be found in the inconsistent attempts of the Bri- 
tish cabinet, to uphold, national independence with 
internal slavery, against foreign aggression, with an 
ameliorated government. The clergy who led the 
mass of the people, clung to the English, because 
they supported aristocracy and church domination ; 


and they were also strongly for the Partidas, because chap. 

these were commanded by men who sprung directly ■ 

from the church itself, or from people who were 1811 * 
attached to the church, while the regular armies 
being" officered bv the friends of the cortes, disliked 
the Partidas, both as interlopers and as political 
enemies. The English ministers, hating Napo- 
leon, not because he was the enemy of England, 
but because he was the champion of equality, cared 
not for Spain, unless her people were enslaved. 
They were willing enough to use a liberal cortes 
to defeat Napoleon, but they also desired to put 
down that cortes, by the aid of the clergy, and of 
the bigoted part of the people : nevertheless as 
liberty will always have more charms than slavery, 
they would have missed of both objects, if the 
exigences of the continental system had not induced 
the emperor to go to Moscow, where the snow 
destroyed him ; and if the very advocates of liberty 
in Spain had not in their madness, resolved to 
oppress the Americans. The cortes, by disco- 
vering a rabid love of power in practice, rendered 
their democratic doctrines suspected, and lost par- 
tizans ; but lord Wellington, in support of aristo- 
cracy, used the greatest prudence in policy, and in~ 
his actions was considerate and just. 

In the first conference held at Coruna, after sir 
Howard Douglas's arrival, the junta, as the usual 
preliminary, demanded more money from England ; 
but he advised, instead, a better management of 
their own resources, and pointed out the military 
measures requisite to render the army efficient. 
He recommended the adoption of the line of retreat 
upon Orense, rather than upon Lugo and Corufia ; 
and he endeavoured to establish a permanent depot 

s 2 


rook in the island of Arosa, on the Vigo coast, as a secure 

L . resource in the event of defeat ; he also furnished 

SeVt tne s °ldiers with shoes and great coats, the hospitals 
with blankets, and completed the fire-locks of the army 
to twenty-five thousand. There were however abuses, 
which he could not remedy, and which would seem 
rather to belong to the army of an Asiatic despot, 
than to an European force fighting for indepen- 
dence. Innumerable baggage animals devoured 
all the forage, and the personal servants and 
Appendix, cooks, who from custom never did duty, were above 
Section i. Hve thousand ! a sixth part of the whole force ! 
When the sick men were deducted, scarcely sixteen 
thousand infantry and three squadrons of cavalry 
remained for service. Then there was so little 
organization or arrangement that, although young, 
robust, patient, and docile to the greatest de- 
gree, the troops could scarcely be moved, even 
from one quarter to another, as a military body ; 
and the generals, unable to feed them on the fron- 
tier, more than once, menaced, and in December 
did actually retire to Lugo, leaving the province 
open to invasion. 

Abadia at first exerted himself with activity, and 
appeared to enter loyally into the ameliorations 
proposed. He gave the command of the troops to 
Portasgo, repaired to Coruiia himself, and organ- 
ized the province in seven military governments, 
under as many chiefs, one for each division of the 
army. Every government was to raise a reserve, 
and to supply and clothe the corresponding division 
on the frontier. But in a little time this activity 
relaxed ; he entered into various intrigues, displayed 
jealousy, both of the peasantry and the English, 
and no real improvement took place, save in that 


select part of the army, which the Cadiz regency chap. 
had destined for South America, and had ordered 

him to equip from the English stores. This was Nov 
done at the very moment when a French army on 
the frontier was again preparing to invade Gal- 
licia, and sir Howard Douglas vehemently op- 
posed the disloyal proceeding ; the junta also 
were really averse to it, and Abadia pretended to 
be so ; but he had a personal interest in the 
colonies and secretly forwarded the preparations. 
The regency, to evade Mr. Wellesley's reproaches, 
promised to suspend the embarkation of these 
troops, but the expedition sailed from Vigo, and 
the organization of another, three times its 
strength, including all the best artillery in the 
province, was immediately commenced, and also 
sailed a few months later. This then was the state 
of Gallicia in the latter end of 1811. She was with- 
out magazines, hospitals, or system, whether civil 
or military, and torn by faction, her people were 
oppressed, her governors foolish, her generals bad : 
she had no cavalry, and the infantry were starving, 
although the province easily supplied cattle for the 
allies in Portugal. As a natural consequence, those 
famished soldiers were too undisciplined to descend 
into the plains of Leon, and were consequently of 
little weight in the general contest. 

Under these circumstances, sir Howard Douglas 
had nothing to work upon, save the Guerilla leaders, 
whose activity he very considerably increased. His 
policy was to augment the number of chiefs, but 
to keep the force of each low, lest, growing proud 
of their command, they should consider themselves 
generals, and become useless, as indeed had already 
happened to Campillo, Longa, and Porlier, when 


hook they were made a part of the seventh army. 




Nevertheless the advantage of this policy may be 
doubted, for of all the numerous bands in the 
north, seven only were not supported entirely by 
robbery. Mina, Pastor, Salazar, Pinto, Amor, 
Mr. stu- and the curate, whose united forces did not exceed 

art's Pa- ' 

pcrs.Mss. ten thousand men, were sustained by regular 
taxes, customs, convent revenues, and donations ; 
Longa supported his from the produce of the 
salt-mines of Paza, but all the rest were bandits, 
whose extinction was one of the advantages ex- 
pected from the formation of the seventh army. 

It is now convenient to resume the narrative of 
military events. 

In the Asturias, previous to Mendizabal's arrival, 
and when Bonet had marched to the Orbijo, Por- 
lier surprised Santander, and plundered some 
houses ; but being followed by general Caucault, 
a very active officer, he retired again to his strong- 
hold of Liebana. The British cruizers, in con- 
cert with whom he acted, then destroyed several 
coast-batteries, and the Iris frigate having arms 
on board, came to the Bay of Biscay for the pur- 
pose of arranging an intercourse with the Partidas 
of that province. But this was the period when 
Reille and Caffarelli, were, as I have before noticed, 
chasing Mina and Longa, whom they drove from 
the coast, into the mountains of Leon, and thus 
marred the object of the Iris. Nevertheless, when 
Mina was reinforced by the Valencians and other 
fugitives from Catalonia, he returned to Navarre, 
and there performed very considerable exploits, 
which, as belonging to other combinations of the 
war, will be hereafter noticed. 

While Caffarelli and Reille thus scoured the line 



of communication, Dorsenne having the invasion chap. 

of Gallicia in view, relieved Bonet on the Esla, 

1 R 1 1 
and sent him early in November, with eight thou- ^ ov ' 

sand men to re-occupy the Asturias as a pre- 
liminary measure. The Gallicians foreseeing this, 
had detached Moscoso with three thousand five 
hundred men to reinforce San Pol, who was at 
Pagares, below the passes leading from Leon; and 
on the other hand Mendizabal uniting the bands of 
Porlier and other chiefs, concentrated five thousand 
men to the eastward on the Xalon. Eleven thousand 
men were therefore ready to oppose the entrance of 
Bonet, but with the usual improvidence of the 
Spaniards, the passes of Cubillas and Ventana, 
to the westward of Pagares, were left unguarded. 
By these roads, Bonet, an excellent officer, turned 
Moscoso, and drove him down the Lena with loss 
and disgrace ; then turning upon Mendizabal, he 
chased him also in disorder from Lanes into the 

All the civil authorities immediately fled to 
Castropol, the Spanish magazines fell into the 
hands of the French, and Bonet having resumed 
his old positions at Oviedo, Gihon, and Grado, 
fortified several posts in the passes leading to 
Leon, raised contributions, and effectually ruined 
all the military resources of the Asturias. The 
organization of the seventh army was thus for 
the time crushed, and in Gallicia great mischief 
ensued. For the return of Moscoso's division and 
the want of provisions in the Bierzo, which had 
obliged Abadia to retire to Lugo, while Dorsenne 
was menacing the frontier, had thrown that king- 
dom into a ferment, which was increased by the 
imposition of the new contributions. The people 


book became exceedingly exasperated and so unfavour- 




ably disposed, that it was common to hear them 
say, " the exactions of a French army were a 
Sir H relief in comparison to the depredations of the 

Co^ 3 S P anisn trOOpS." 

M°ss ence ' During these transactions in the north, Drouet 
had joined Girard at Merida, and menaced the 
allies in the Alemtejo, hoping thus to draw Wel- 
lington from the Coa ; but the demonstration was 
too feeble, and the English general thought it 
sufficient to reinforce Hill with his own brigade 
from Castello Branco. These movements were 
undoubtedly part of a grand plan for invading 
Portugal, if the emperor could have arranged his 
affairs peaceably with Russia. For to move once 
more against Lisbon, by Massena's route, was not 
promising, unless the northern provinces of Por- 
tugal were likewise invaded, which required the 
preliminary occupation of Gallicia, at least of the 
interior. In the south also, it was advisable to 
invade Alemtejo, simultaneously with Beira; and 
the occupation of Valencia and Murcia was ne- 
cessary to protect Andalusia during the operation. 
The plan was vast, dangerous, and ready for execu- 
tion ; for though the wet season had set in, an 
attack on the northern parts of Portugal, and the 
invasion of Gallicia, were openly talked of in 
Dorsenne's army, CafTarelli was to join in the 
expedition, and Monthion's reserve, which was to 
replace Caffarelli's on the line of communication, 
was already six thousand strong. Ney or Oudinot 
were spoken of to command the whole, and a 
strong division was already in march to reinforce 
the army of the south, arrangements which could 
have reference only to Napoleon's arrival ; but 


the Russian war soon baulked the project, and chap. 

Wellington's operations, to be hereafter noticed, — 

obliged Dorsenne to relinquish the invasion of Gal- Nov ' 
licia, and caused Bonet once more to abandon the 

Thus, with various turns of fortune, the war 
was managed in the northern provinces, and no 
great success attended the French arms, because 
the English general was always at hand to remedy 
the faults of the Spaniards. It was not so on the 
eastern line of invasion. There Suchet, meeting 
with no opponent capable of resisting him, had 
continued his career of victory, and the insuf- 
ficiency of the Spaniards to save their own country 
was made manifest ; but these things shall be clearly 
shewn in the next chapter, which will treat of the 
conquest of Valencia. 




3 xv. K I N August, and the beginning of September, 
ioTT" Suchet, while preparing for this great enterprise, 
August, had dispersed the bands of Villa Campa and the 
other chiefs, who during the siege of Taragona 
vexed Aragon. He had sent his feeble soldiers to 
France, receiving conscripts in their places, and 
although the harvest was very bad, formed large 
magazines in Morella and Tortoza. Eight thou- 
sand men had been left in Catalonia under general 
Frere, another eight thousand were placed under 
general Musnier, to protect Aragon, and twenty- 
four thousand of all arms remained for the inva- 
sion of Valencia, but this force Suchet thought 
inadequate, and demanded a reinforcement from 
the army of reserve, then in Navarre. Napoleon, 
whose system of war, whatever has been said to 
the contrary, was eminently methodical, refused. 
He loved better to try a bold push, at a distant 
point, with a few men, than to make an over- 
whelming attack, if he thereby weakened his com- 
munications ; he judged courage and enterprise 
fittest for the attack, prudence and force for the 
support. And yet he designed to aid Suchet's 
operations vigorously when the decisive blow could 
be struck. Then not only the divisions of the re- 
serve were to march, but combined movements, 
of detachments from nearly all the armies in the 


Peninsula, were arranged; and we shall find, that chap. 


if Wellington, by menacing Ciudad Rodrigo, saved 
Gallicia, the French army of the north, in return, by $*[' 
menacing Gallicia, fixed the allies on the Agueda, 
and so protected Suchet's invasion of Valencia. 

Three roads led to the Guadalaviar, one from 
Tortoza by the sea-coast, one by Teruel and Se- 
gorbe, and one by Morella and San Mateo. That 
from Tortoza, and that by Teruel, were carriage- 
roads, but the first only was fit for heavy artillery, 
and it was blocked, partially by the fortress of 
Peniscola, and completed by the fort of Oropesa. 
Wherefore, though the infantry and cavalry could 
move on a bye-road to the right, the convoys and 
the guns, which were at Tortoza, could not pass 
until Oropesa was reduced. Nevertheless the 
French general, well knowing the value of bold- 
ness in war, resolved to mask Peniscola, to avoid 
Oropesa, to send his field artillery by Teruel, and 
uniting his troops near Saguntum, to offer battle to 
Blake; and if the latter declined it, to reduce 
Oropesa and Saguntum, trusting for subsistence to 
the " kuerta" or garden of Valencia, until the arrival 
of his convoys. 

He had, however, organized his system of supply 
with care. From Morella and Tortoza, brigades 
of mules, after the manner adopted in the British 
army, were to carry provisions to the troops, 
and sheep and cattle were delivered to each 
regiment for its subsistence in advance. This 
last plan, which sir John Moore had also pro- 
jected in his campaign, Suchet found advan- 
tageous ; and I am persuaded that the principle 
should be extended, so that all things requisite 
for the subsistence, and fighting of troops should 


rook be organized regimentally, and the persons em- 


ployed wear the uniform of their different corps. 
g^|* Jealousies between the functionaries, of different 
branches of the service, would then be unknown ; 
and the character of all subordinate persons, being 
under the guardianship of the battalions to which 
they belonged, would be equally praiseworthy, 
which caanot now be said. 

While Suchet was thus gathering his strength, 
Valencia was a prey to disorder. About the period 
of the siege of Taragona, Palacios, notwithstand- 
ing his high monarchical principles, which caused 
him to be dismissed from the regency, had been 
appointed captain-general of Valencia, Murcia, 
and Aragon ; and he immediately raised a strong 
party amongst the friars and other opponents of 
the cortes. When after the dispersion of the 
Murcian army at Baza, Blake had rallied the 
fugitives, and in virtue of his power as regent, 
assumed the chief command at Valencia, Palacios' 
capt. Co- faction opposed him, and endeavoured to draw 

drington's . l 

papers, the soldiers and the populace to their side, by pro- 
posing to inundate the plain of Murviedro, and 
to defend the strong country in advance. Blake, 
however, resolved to act on the flanks of the 
French army by detachments, and, in this view, 
sent C. O'Donnel, with the divisions of Obispo 
and Villa Campa, to Albaracin, supporting them 
with four thousand men at Segorbe and Liria. He 
charged Mahy, who commanded five thousand in- 
fantry, and seven hundred cavalry of the Murcian 
army, to surprise the French detachment of the 
army of the centre, posted at Cuenca. He detached 
Bassecour with two thousand men to Requefia, and 
the same time, directed Duran and the Empe- 


cinado, to unite, and invade Aragon ; and it was to chap. 
aid in this expedition that Mina quitted the moun- 

tains of Leon. 1 ^ il - 

Blake had, exclusive of Mahy's and Bassecour's 
divisions, about twenty thousand infantry, and two 
thousand cavalry. Three thousand five hundred men 
were placed in Saguntum, which was provisioned 
for three months ; two hundred were in Oropesa, 
and fifteen hundred in Peniscola; and there were 
so many Partidas, that the whole country seemed 
to be in arms, but the assembling of these people Roche, 
being very uncertain, Blake could not depend upon 
having a permanent partizan force, of more than M u |P er ' 
eight thousand. The Valencian armv contained 

B - ^ # ' 7 Mr. Wel- 

the Albuera divisions, St. Juan's, Miranda's, and lesle y» 

7 ' MSS. 

Villa Campa's veterans ; it was therefore, not only 
numerous, but the best Spain had yet produced ; 
and Valencia itself was exceedingly rich in all Doyie, 


things necessary for its supply : but there was no 
real power, the building, though fair enough out- 
side, had the dry rot within. The French had Appendix, 
many secret friends, faction was as usual at work, section 3. 
the populace were not favourable to Blake, and 
that general had rather collected than organized his 
forces, and was quite incapable of leading them. 
He was unpopular, both at Cadiz and Valencia, and 
the regency of which he formed a part was tottering. 
The Cortes had quashed Mahy's command of the 
Murcian army, and even recalled Blake himself; 
but the order, which did not reach him until he 
was engaged with Suchet, was not obeyed. Mean- 
while that part of the Murcian army, which should 
have formed a reserve, after Mahy's division had 
marched for Cuenca, fell into the greatest disorder : 
above eight thousand men deserted in a few weeks, 






and those who remained were exceedingly dispirited. 
— Thus all interest became concentrated in the city of 
Valencia; which was in fact the key of all the 
eastern coast because Carthagena required an army 
to defend it, and could only be fed from Valencia, 
and Alicant was then quite defenceless. 

It was in this state of affairs, that Suchet com- 
menced the invasion. His army was divided into 
three columns, and, on the 15th of September one 
moved by the coast-road, one by Morella and San 
Mateo, and one by Teruel, where an intermediate 
suchet. magazine was established ; but this latter column 
instead of proceeding directly to Segorbe, turned 
of! to its left, and passed over the Sierra de Gudar 
to Castellon de la Plana, where the whole three 
were united on the 20th. The main column, com- 
manded by Suchet in person, had masked Peniscola 
on the 15th, and invested Oropesa by a detachment 
on the 19th; but as the road run directly under 
the fire of the last place, the main body moved by 
the rugged route of Cabanes to Villa Franca, leaving 
the battering-train still at Tortoza. 

During these operations Blake appeared inclined 
to fight, for he brought Zayas up in front of Mur- 
viedro, and called in Obispo ; Mahy, who had 
done nothing on the side of Cuenca, was also in 
march to join him ; but all these divisions marched 
slowly, and with confusion ; and a slight skirmish 
at Almansora, on the Mingares, where a few French 
dragoons put a great body of Spanish infantry to 
flight, made Blake doubt the firmness of his troops. 
He therefore left O'Donnel with four thousand men 
on the side of Segorbe, and then retired himself 
Tuppor, with fifteen thousand behind the Guadalaviar. Va- 


lencia was thus thrown into great confusion, but 




Bassecour's division was at hand, and Suchet fearing chap. 


to attack so large an army in an entrenched camp 
(which had cost two years to construct), while his g^ 
own communication with Tortoza was intercepted, 
merely dispersed the armed peasants which had 
assembled on his flank, and then turned against 


This celebrated place, situated about four leagues 
from Valencia, was a rocky mountain, covered with 
the ruins of the ancient city, and the remains of 
Moorish towers and walls, which being connected 
by modern works, formed four distinct posts covering 
the whole summit of the rock : but in consequence 
of the usual Spanish procrastination the heavy guns 
prepared to arm it were not yet mounted, and only 
seventeen pieces of inferior size were available for 
defence. The modern town of Murviedro, situated 
at the foot of the rock, was covered by the river 
Palancia, and by a canal, and occupied by some 
Spanish picquets ; but the 23d Habert, having 
passed the water, invested the rock on the east, 
while Harispe invested it on the west and south, 
and a third division drove the Spanish posts from 
Murviedro and entrenched itself in the houses. 
The rest of the army was disposed in villages, on 
the hills to the north west, and patroles were pushed 
towards Valencia. Thus the rock of Saguntum 
was invested, but it was inaccessible to the engi- 
neer, save on the west, where the ascent, although 
practicable, was very rough and difficult. It 
would have been impregnable, if the Spaniards had 
mounted their large guns ; for the French were 


book obliged to bring earth from a distance, to form the 

batteries and parallels, and to set the miner to level 
ggpj* the approaches, and their parapets were too thin to 
withstand heavy shot. 

The first point of resistance was an ancient tower 
called San Pedro, and immediately above it was the 
fort of San Fernando, which could not be attacked 
until San Pedro fell, and, from its height, then only 
by the miner. But near the eastern extremity of 
the rock, there were two ancient breaches which 
the Spaniards were still engaged repairing, and 
had only stopped with timber ; a large tank offered 
cover for the assembling of troops close to these 
breaches, and Suchet resolved to try an escalade. 
To effect this, three columns were assembled before 
daybreak on the 28th in the tank, a strong reserve 
was held in support, and a false attack was directed 
against the San Pedro to distract the attention of 
the besieged : but in the previous part of the night, 
the Spaniards having sallied were repulsed, and the 
action having excited both sides, a French soldier 
fired from the tank before the appointed time, 
whereupon the columns rushing forward, in dis- 
order, planted their ladders, and the garrison would 
have carried the place by noise, but the garrison 
thrust the ladders from the walls, and drove the 
stormers back, with the loss of three hundred men. 
After this check, as the artillery was still atTortoza, 
Suchet ordered a part of his army to attack Oropesa, 
employed another part in making a road, for the 
guns, to reach the battery raised against the tower 
of San Pedro, and then turned his own attention to 
the movements of Blake. 

That general following his first plan of action 
against the French flanks, had during the investment 


of Saguntum, sent C. O'Donnel with Villa Campa's chap. 
division and St. Juan's cavalry, to Betera, and 


Beneguazil, and Obispo's division to Segorbe ; October. 
thus forming a half circle round the French army, 
and cutting its communication with Teruel, near 
which place Mahy had by this time arrived. Suchet 
however caused Palombini to attack Obispo, whose 
whole division dispersed after a skirmish with the 
advanced guard, and the Italians then returned to 
the siege. The next night Harispe marched against 
O'Donnel, who was well posted at Beneguazil 
behind a canal, having his centre protected by a 
chapel and some houses; nevertheless the Spaniards 
were beaten with loss at the first shock, and fled 
in disorder over the Guadalaviar. During these 
events Blake remained an idle spectator of the 
defeat of his division, although he had a large body 
of troops in hand, and was within a few miles of 
the field of battle. 

The French train now advanced from Tortoza, 
and four pieces were placed in battery against 
Oropesa. On the 10th Suchet took the direction 
of the attack in person, and the fort situated upon 
an isolated rock, was breached in a few hours ; but 
the garrison of the King's Tower (a separate work 
placed on a small promontory, and commanding 
the harbour) refused to surrender, and was carried 
off, on the 11th, under the French fire, by the Mag- 
nificent. The French general having thus with a 
loss of only thirty men opened the road for his 
artillery, returned to Saguntum and pushed the 
siege of that place ; but the difficulties were very 
great, the formation of the road to the batteries 
was itself a work of pain, and although his inde- 
fatigable troops had formed a breaching battery on 

VOL. TV t 



book the 12th, while seven small mortars and howitzers, 
placed on the right and left, had nearly silenced 


October. tne Spanish fire, the muskets of the besiegers alone 
brought down from fifteen to twenty mem 

On the 17th the breaching battery being armed, 
opened its fire against the tower, and the new 
masonry crumbled away at once ; yet the ancient 
work resisted the guns like a rock. On the 18th 
the fire recommenced, when the wall gave way to 
the stroke of the guns, and the assault was ordered ; 
but from the height of the tower, which overlooked 
the works at a short distance, the preparations 
were early discovered, the Spaniards collecting 
on the breach repaired it with sand-bags, and re- 
gardless of the French fire, with loud cries pro- 
voked the attack. At five o'clock, four hundred 
men rushed forward as swiftly as the steepness of 
the ascent would permit. Soon, however, the head 
of the column was checked, the rear began to fire, 
the whole got into confusion, and when one-half 
had fallen without making the slightest impression 
on the defenders, the attempt was abandoned. 
After this signal failure the French erected a second 
battery of six pieces, one hundred and forty yards 
from the tower, and endeavoured to push the ap- 
proach close to the foot of the breach, yet the 
plunging fire of the besieged baffled them ; mean- 
while Andriani the governor, having communi- 
cation by signal with the ships in the Grao, was 
encouraged to continue his gallant defence, and 
was informed that he was already promoted for 
what he had done. But to understand Suchet's 
embarrassments, from the protracted resistance of 
Saguntum, we must take a view of Lacy's contem- 
porary operations in Catalonia, and the proceedings 



of the Partidas against the French communications chap. 
and posts in Aragon. 




It will be recollected that the blockade of Fi- August. 
gueiras produced sickness in M 'Donald's army, 
and that the return of Suchet to Aragon, and the 
parcelling of his troops on the lines, from Lerida 
to Montserrat, Tortoza, and Taragona, had com- 
pletely extinguished the French power in the field ; 
because the divisions of the army of Aragon which 
still remained in Lower Catalonia, being destined 
for the enterprize against Valencia, could not be 
employed in harassing expeditions. Lacy was there- 
fore enabled, notwithstanding the troubles which 
followed the fall of Taragona, to reorganize about 
eight thousand men in two divisions, the one under 
Eroles, the other under Sarsfield ; the junta also 
called out the tercios of reserve, and arms and 
ammunition being supplied by the English navy, 
Lacy was soon in a condition to act offensively. 
Thus the taking of Montserrat was very injurious 
to the French, for it is generally supposed that 
Friere's division, if held together in the field, would 
have prevented this reaction in the principality. 
Lacy at first suggested to the British navy the re- 
capture of the Medas Islands, and it was effected 
in the latter end of August, by the Undaunted, 
Lavinia, and Blossom, aided by a small party of 
Spaniards, the whole under the command of captain 
Thomas. The enterprise itself was one of more 
labour than danger, and the Spanish allies were 
of little use, but the naval officers to whose exer- 

t 2 


hook tions the success was entirely due, were indignant 
at rinding that colonel Green, who served as a 

August, volunteer, endeavoured to raise his own reputation 
No P n. dlx ' w * tn tne Catalans by injuring the character of those 
section 2. unc [ er w hom he served. 

Immediately after the fall of Montserrat, Lacy 
and the junta had proposed the fortifying of Pa- 
lamos or Blanes, to be held as a marine depot and 
strong-hold, in common with the British navy, but 
with a strange folly expected that sir E. Pellew, 
who had no troops, would defend them from the 
enemy while establishing this post. Finding this 
scheme received coldly by the admiral, they turned 
their attention inland, and blowing up the works of 
Berga, fixed upon the position of Busa, as a place 
Memoir f strength and refuge. This remarkable rock 

ixpon .Busa, ° c 

by Capt. w hich is situated between the Cardener and Bin- 


nin g ,Mss. dasaes rivers and about twenty miles from Car- 
dona could be reached by one road only, and that 
a very rugged one. The rock itself fourteen miles 
in circumference, healthy and full of springs, is 
fertile, and produces abundance of forage, and 
fuel. It is cut off from the rest of the world by 
frightful precipices, and could neither be forced, 
nor starved into a surrender. Busa, Cardona, 
Solsona, and Seu d'Urgel were therefore guarded 
by the tercios of reserve and Lacy soon commenced 
offensive excursions with the regular army, against 
the long lines of the French communication. 

In September while the Somatenes interrupted 
the passage of the convoys to Montserrat, Eroles 
made an unsuccessful attack on the fort of Mon- 
cada near Barcelona ; Lacy who had returned from 
an incursion in the French Cerdana where he had 
gathered some booty, then united Eroles and Sars- 



field's troops, and surprised the town of Igualada, chap. 
where he killed two hundred French, but not daring 


to attack the castle retired to Calaf, and from thence g ept# ' 
again detached Eroles to Jorbas, to attack a French 
convoy coming to Igualada. Eroles beat the escort, 
and captured the convoy, and then the French 
quitted the fortified convent of Igualada, and joined 
the garrison of Montserrat, when the whole, fearful 
of being invested and so starved, abandoned that 
important point, and marched through Barcelona 
to Taragona; the Spaniards immediately occupied 
Montserrat, and recovered a large store of clothing 
and cavalry equipments, which had been hidden 
in a vault and were undiscovered by the enemy. 
Eroles, pursuing his success, forced the garrisons 
of Belpuig, and Cervera, about five hundred in 
all, to surrender, and thus the whole line of com- 
munication, between Lerida and Barcelona, fell into 
the power of the Catalonians. The confidence of 
the people then revived ; Sarsfield occupied Granol- 
lers, and the passes leading into the valley of Vich ; 
Manso and Rovira menaced the Ampurdan; and 
Eroles suddenly passing by Sen d'Urgel into the 
Cerdaiia, defeated, at Puigcerda, some national 
guards commanded by general Gareau, who had 
been sent there after Lacy's invasion. He after- 
wards raised large contributions on the frontier, 
burnt a French town, and returning with his spoil 
by the way of Ribas, and Ripol, took post in the 
pass of Garriga, while Milans occupied Mataro, 
and both watched to intercept a convoy which 
M'Donald was preparing for Barcelona. 

Sarsfield at the same time embarked his division 
and sailed to the coast of the Ampurdan, but the 
weather would not permit him to land. Neverthe- 


book less the attention of the French general was dis- 
. ! — tracted, and the convoy did not move. Lacy then 

|Bif. reca U e( l Sarsfield, and projected the surprise of 
Barcelona itself, but after putting his troops in 
march, feared the execution and relinquished the 
attempt. Meanwhile one swarm of the smaller 
Partidas menaced the French communication be- 
tween Mequinenza and Tortoza, and another swarm 
settled on the plains about Lerida. 

The state of Aragon was equally alarming. 
Duran and the Empecinado had received Blake's 
orders to unite near Cuen^a, for the purpose of 
invading Aragon ; but the secret junta of the dis- 
trict were averse to the plan, and the troops of the 
latter chief refused to move, and even came to 
blows with the junta's people. In this confusion 
general d'Armanac, who had retired from Cuen^a, 
returned, and dispersed the whole. The Empeci- 
nado however collected them again, and having 
joined Duran, their united powers being about six 
thousand infantry and two thousand five hundred 
horse, moved against Calatayud ; Mina also acting 
in concert with them, quitted the mountains of 
Leon and entered Navarre with about five thousand 
men, and some minor partisans were already acting 
against different parts of Aragon. The whole were 
in want of clothing and ammunition, but Mr. 
Tupper, the consul at Valencia, having safe means of 
communication with the interior supplied them. 

General Musnier's force was so scattered that he 
could not fight either of the large Partidas, without 
exposing some important point to the other, and 
the 29th of September the Empecinado took pos- 
session of the pass of Frasno, while Duran in- 
vested the fortified convent of Calatayud. This 



place was garrisoned by some French and Italian chap. 
troops, who differed upon the defence, and when ' 
the explosion of two mines had killed a number of 
them they surrendered. Musnier collected some 
men to succour the place, but unable to force the 
pass of Frasno, retired ; yet being reinforced on the 
5th, he again advanced, and a column sent from Na- 
varre by general Reille also came up ; whereupon 
the Spaniards disappeared until the French retired, 
and then reoccupied Calatayud. They were now 
in full communication with Mina and a general 
plan of invasion was discussed, but as Duran and 
Mina could not accord each acted separately. 

Severoli's division eight thousand strong and just 
arrived from Italy, then reinforced Musnier, and on 
the 9th driving the Spaniards from Calatayud pur- 
sued them on the roads to Molino, Daroca, and Me- 
dinaceli. On the other side of the Ebro however 
Mina fell on the post of Exca in the Cinco Villas ; 
the garrison broke through his investment in the 
night, but he pursued them almost to the gates of 
Zaragosa, and then turning off towards Ayerbe, 
attacked that post and menaced the communica- 
tion by Jaca. The commandant of Zaragosa had 
sent an Italian battalion to look after the flying gar- 
rison of Exca, which was found at Zuera, and the 
united forces amounting to eleven hundred infantry 
and sixty cavalry followed Mina and came up with 
him at Ayerbe ; the guerilla chief instantly turned 
with a part of his troops, and the Italians retreated 
towards Huesca, but having to cross a plain were 
all killed or taken. 

Reille and Musnier hearing of this misfortune 
spread their columns in all directions to intercept 
Mina, but he evaded their toils, and although 



hook sharply chased and several times engaged, reached 
Motrico on the Biscay coast with his prisoners. 

October. The Iris frigate which was then harassing the enemy's 
coast line took some of them off his hands, and the 
remainder, three hundred in number, were sent 
to Corunna by the Asturian mountains, but only 
thirty-six arrived, the rest were shot by the escort, 
under pretence that they made a noise near a 
French post ! 

While these events were passing on the left of 
the Ebro, Mazzuchelli's brigade followed the Em- 
pecinado, and having defeated him in a sharp 
action, at Cubiliejos de la Sierra, brought off the 
garrison of Molino and dismantled that fort ; but 
the smaller Partidas infested the road between Tor- 
toza and Oropesa, and in this disturbed state of 
affairs reports were rife that an English force was 
to disembark at Peniscola. Blake also sent Obis- 
po's division against Teruel, which was thus me- 
naced on all sides, for Mahy was still in those parts. 
Thus the partizan warfare seemed interminable, and 
Suchet's situation would really have been very 
dangerous, if he had been opposed by a man of 
ability. He had an inferior force and was cooped 
up between the enemy's fortresses ; his communi- 
cations were all interrupted ; he had just met with 
two signal failures at Saguntum, and he was me- 
naced by a formidable army which was entirely 
master of its operations. Blake however soon re- 
lieved him of his difficulties. 

Palacios with the junta had retired to Alcira, 
and in concert with the friars of his faction had 
issued a manifesto, intended to raise a popular 
commotion to favour his own restoration to the 
command, but Blake was now become popular; 


the Valencians elated by the successful resistance chap. 

of Saguntum, called for a battle, and the Spanish L_ 

general urged partly by his courage, the only mili- q 1 ^^ 
tary qualification he possessed, partly that he found 
his operations on the French rear had not disturbed 
the siege, acceded to their desire. Mahy and Bas- 
secour's divisions had arrived at Valencia, Obispo 
was called in to Betera, eight thousand irregulars 
were thrown upon the French communications, and 
the whole Spanish army amounting to about twenty- 
two thousand infantry, two thousand good cavalry, 
and thirty-six guns made ready for battle. 

Previous to this, Suchet, although expecting such 
an event, had detached several parties to scour the 
road of Tortoza, and had directed Palombini's di- 
vision to attack Obispo and relieve Teruel. Obispo 
skirmished at Xerica on the 21st, and then rapidly 
marched upon Liria with a view to assist in the 
approaching battle; but Blake, who might have 
attacked while Palombini was absent, took little 
heed of the opportunity, and Suchet, now aware 
of his adversary's object, instantly recalled the 
Italians who arrived the very morning of the 

The ground between Murviedro and Valencia was 
a low flat, interspersed here and there with rugged 
isolated hills ; it was also intersected by ravines, 
torrents, and water-cuts, and thickly studded with 
olive-trees ; but near Saguntum it became straitened 
by the mountain and the sea, so as to leave an 
opening of not more than three miles, behind which 
it again spread out. In this narrow part Suchet 
resolved to receive the attack, without relinquishing 
the siege of Saguntum ; and he left a strong de- 
tachment in the trenches with orders to open the 


book fire of a new battery, the moment the Spanish army 

! — appeared. 

October ^* s l^ consisting of Habert's division, and some 
squadrons of dragoons, was refused, to avoid the 
fire of some vessels of war and gun-boats which 
flanked Blake's march. The centre under Ha- 
rispe, was extended to the foot of the mountains, 
so that he offered an oblique front, crossing the 
main road from Valencia to Murviedro. Palom- 
bini's division and the dragoons, were placed in 
second line behind the centre, and behind them the 
cuirassiers were held in reserve. 

This narrow front was favourable for an action in 
the plain, but the right flank of the French, and 
the troops left to carry on the siege, were liable to 
be turned by the pass of Espiritus, through which, 
the roads from Betera led to Gilet, directly upon the 
line of retreat. To prevent such an attempt Suchet 
posted Chlopiski with a strong detachment of in- 
fantry and the Italian dragoons in the pass, and 
placed the Neapolitan brigade of reserve at Gilet : 
in this situation, although his fighting troops did 
not exceed seventeen thousand men, and those 
cooped up between two fortresses, hemmed in by 
the mountain on one side, the sea on the other, and 
with only one narrow line of retreat, the French 
general did not hesitate to engage a very numerous 
army. He trusted to his superiority in moral re- 
sources, and what would have been madness in 
other circumstances, was here a proof of skilful 

Blake having issued a fine address to his soldiers 
on the 25th of October advanced to fight. His 
right wing under Zayas, composed of the Albuera 
divisions, marched by a road leading upon the 


village of Puzzol ; and Blake followed in person, ohap. 
with a weak reserve, commanded by general ' 
Velasco. JS1* 


The centre under Lardizabal supported by the 
cavalry of Loy and Caro, moved by the main road. 

The left consisting of Miranda's, and Villa 
Campa's infantry, and of St. Juan's cavalry, and 
supported by Mahy's division which came from the 
side of Betera moved against the defile of Espiritus. 
Obispo, also coming from Betera, acted as a flank- 
ing corps, and entering the mountains by Naquera, 
menaced the right of Chlopiski, but he was met by 
a brigade under general Robert. 

The Spaniards moved on rapidly and in good 
order, driving the French outposts over a ravine 
called the Piccador, which covered Suchet's front. 
Zayas and Lardizabal immediately passed this ob- 
stacle as did also Caro and Loy, and the first took 
possession of Puzzol while the flotilla ranged along 
the coast and protected his right flank. Blake with 
Velasco's reserve halted at El Puig, an isolated hill 
on the sea-coast behind the Piccador, but Lardi- 
zabal and the cavalry forming an oblique line, in 
order to face the French front, occupied the ground 
between Puzzol and the Piccador. Thus the Spa- 
nish order of battle was cut in two by the ravine, 
for on the hither side of it St. Juan, Miranda, and 
Villa Campa were drawn up, and Mahy took pos- 
session of a height called the Germanels, which was 
opposite the mouth of St. Espiritus. 

By this disposition the Spanish line, extending 
from Puzzol to the Germanels, was not less than 
six miles, and the division of Obispo was sepa- 
rated from the left by about the same distance. 
Blake's order of battle was therefore feeble, and he 


book was without any efficient reserve, for Velasco was 

— distant and weak and Mahy's was actually in the 

October. ^ ne * The French order of battle covering less 
than three miles was compressed and strong, the 
reserves were well placed and close at hand ; and 
Chlopiski's division, although a league distant from 
the main body, was firmly posted, and able to take a 
direct part in the battle, while the interval between 
him and Suchet was closed by impassable heights. 


The fight was commenced by Villa Campa, who 
was advancing against the pass of Espiritus, when 
the Italian dragoons galloping out overthrew his 
advanced guard, and put his division into confusion. 
Chlopiski seeing this, moved down with the in- 
fantry, drove Mahy from the Germanels, and then 
detached a regiment to the succour of the centre, 
where a brisk battle was going on, to the disadvan- 
tage of Suchet. 

That general had not judged his ground well at 
first, and when the Spaniards had crossed the Pic- 
cador, he too late perceived that an isolated height 
in advance of Harispe's division, could command 
all that part of the field. Prompt however to re- 
medy his error, he ordered the infantry to advance, 
and galloped forward himself with an escort of 
hussars to seize the hill ; the enemy was already in 
possession, and their guns opened from the summit, 
but the head of Harispe's infantry then attacked, 
and after a sharp fight, in which general Paris and 
several superior officers were wounded, gained the 


At this time Obispo's guns were heard on the chap. 
hills far to the right, and Zayas passing through 

Puzzol endeavoured to turn the French left, and as October. 
the day was fine, and the field of battle distinctly 
seen by the soldiers in Saguntum, they crowded on 
the ramparts, regardless of the besiegers' fire, and 
uttering loud cries of Victory! Victory! by their 
gestures seemed to encourage their countrymen to 
press forward. The critical moment of the battle 
was evidently approaching. Suchet ordered Pa- 
lombini's Italians, and the dragoons, to support 
Harispe, and although wounded himself galloped 
to the cuirassiers and brought them into action. 
Meanwhile the French hussars had pursued the 
Spaniards from the height to the Piccador, where 
however the latter rallied upon their second line 
and again advanced ; and it was in vain that the 
French artillery poured grape-shot into their ranks, 
their march was not checked. Loy and Caro's 
horsemen overthrew the French hussars in a mo- 
ment, and in the same charge sabred the French 
gunners and captured their battery. The crisis 
would have been fatal, if Harispe's infantry had 
not stood firm while Palombini's division march- 
ing on the left under cover of a small rise of 
ground, suddenly opened a fire upon the flank of 
the Spanish cavalry, which was still in pursuit of 
the hussars. These last immediately turned, and 
the Spaniards thus placed between two fires, and 
thinking the flight of the hussars had been feigned, 
to draw them into an ambuscade, hesitated ; the 
next moment a tremendous charge of the cuiras- 
siers put every thing into confusion. Caro was 
wounded and taken, Loy fled with the remainder 
of the cavalry over the Piccador, the French guns 



book were recovered, the Spanish artillery was taken, 


and Lardizabal's infantry being quite broken, laid 
Ocfober. down ^ eir arms, or throwing them away, saved 
themselves as they could. Harispe's division im- 
mediately joined Chlopiski's, and both together 
pursued the beaten troops. 

This great, and nearly simultaneous success in 
the centre, and on the right, having cut the Spanish 
line in two, Zaya's position became exceedingly 
dangerous. Suchet was on his flank, Habert ad- 
vancing against his front, and Blake had no reserve 
in hand to restore the battle, for the few troops and 
guns under Velasco, remained inactive at El Puig. 
However such had been the vigour of the action 
in the centre, and so inferior were Suchet's num- 
bers, that it required two hours to secure his pri- 
soners and to rally Palombini's division for another 
effort. Meanwhile Zayas, whose left flank was 
covered in some measure by the water-cuts, fought 
stoutly, maintained the village of Puzzol for a 
long time, and when finally driven out, although he 
was charged several times, by some squadrons at- 
tached to Habert's division, effected his retreat 
across the Piccador, and gained El Puig. Suchet 
had however re-formed his troops, and Zayas now 
attacked in front and flank, fled along the sea-coast 
to the Grao of Valencia, leaving his artillery and 
eight hundred prisoners. 

During this time, Chlopiski and Harispe, had 
pursued Mahy, Miranda, Villa Campa, and Lar- 
dizabal, as far as the torrent of Caraixet, where 
many prisoners were made ; but the rest being 
joined by Obispo, rallied behind the torrent, and 
the French cavalry having outstripped their in- 
fantry, were unable to prevent the Spaniards from 




reaching the line of the Guadalaviar. The victors chap. 
had about a thousand killed and wounded, and 
the Spaniards had not more, but two generals, five 
thousand prisoners, and twelve guns were taken ; 
and Blake's inability to oppose Suchet in the field, 
being made manifest by this battle, the troops en- 
gaged were totally dispirited, and the effect reached 
even to Saguntum, for the garrison surrendered that 


1°. In this campaign the main object on both 
sides was Valencia. That city could not be in- 
vested until Saguntum was taken, and the Spanish 
army defeated ; hence to protect Saguntum without 
endangering his army, was the problem for Blake 
to solve, and it was not very difficult. He had 
at least twenty-five thousand troops, besides the 
garrisons of Peniscola, Oropesa, and Segorbe, and 
he could either command or influence the move- 
ments of nearly twenty thousand irregulars ; his 
line of operations was direct, and secure, and he 
had a fleet to assist him, and several secure har- 
bours. On the other hand the French general 
could not bring twenty thousand men into action, 
and his line of operation, which was long, and 
difficult, was intercepted by the Spanish fortresses. 
It was for Blake therefore to choose the nature of 
his defence : he could fight, or he could protract 
the war. 

2°. If he had resolved to fight, he should have 
taken post at Castellon de la Plana, keeping a corps 
of observation at Segorbe, and strong detachments 
towards Villa Franca, and Cabanes, holding his 



book army in readiness to fall on the heads of Suchet's 


- columns, as they came out of the mountains. But 
experience had, or should have, taught Blake, that 
a battle in the open field between the French and 
Spanish troops, whatever might be the apparent 
advantage, was uncertain ; and this last and best 
army of the country ought not to have been risked. 
He should therefore have resolved upon protracting 
the war, and have merely held that position to 
check the heads of the French columns, without 
engaging in a pitched battle. 

3°. From Castellon de la Plana and Segorbe, the 
army might have been withdrawn, and concen- 
trated at Murviedro, in one march, and Blake should 
have prepared an intrenched camp in the hills close 
to Saguntum, placing a corps of observation in the 
plain behind that fortress. These hills were rug- 
ged, very difficult of access, and the numerous 
water-cuts and the power of forming inundations 
in the place, were so favourable for defence, that 
it would have been nearly impossible for the French 
to have dislodged him; nor could they have in- 
vested Saguntum while he remained in this camp. 

4°. In such a strong position, with his retreat 
secure upon the Guadalaviar, the Spanish general 
would have covered the fertile plains from the French 
foragers, and would have held their army at bay 
while the irregulars operated upon their communi- 
cation. He might then have safely detached a 
division to his left, to assist the Partidas, or to his 
right, by sea, to land at Peniscola. His forces 
would soon have been increased and the invasion 
would have been frustrated. 

5°. Instead of following this simple principle of 
defensive warfare consecrated since the days of 




Fabius, Blake abandoned Saguntum, and from chap. 
behind the Guadalaviar, sent unconnected detach- - 
ments on a half circle round the French army, 
which being concentrated, and nearer to each de- 
tachment than the latter was to its own base at 
Valencia, could and did, as we have seen, defeat 
them all in detail. 

6°. Blake, like all the Spanish generals, indulged 
vast military conceptions far beyond his means, and, 
from want of knowledge, generally in violation of 
strategic principles. Thus his project of cutting 
the communication with Madrid, invading Aragon, 
and connecting Mina's operations between Zaragoza 
and the Pyrenees, with Lacy's in Catalonia, was 
gigantic in- design, but without any chance of 
success. The division of Severoli being added to 
Musnier's, had secured Aragon ; and if it had not 
been so, the reinforcements then marching through 
Navarre, to different parts of Spain, rendered the 
time chosen for these attempts peculiarly unfavour- 
able. But the chief objection was, that Blake had 
lost the favourable occasion of protracting the war 
about Saguntum ; and the operations against Va- 
lencia, were sure to be brought to a crisis, before 
the affair of Aragon could have been sufficiently 
embarrassing, to recal the French general. The 
true way of using the large guerilla forces, was to 
bring them down close upon the rear of Suchet's 
army, especially on the side of Teruel, where he 
had magazines ; which could have been done safely, 
because these Partidas had an open retreat, and if 
followed would have effected their object, of weak- 
ening and distressing the army before Valencia. 
This would have been quite a different operation 
from that which Blake adopted, when he posted 

vol. iv. u 



book Obispo and O'Donnel at Benaguazil and Segorbe ; 

because those generals' lines of operations, springing 

from the Guadalaviar, were within the power of the 
French ; and this error alone proves that Blake 
was entirely ignorant of the principles of strategy. 

7°. Urged by the cries of the Valencian popu- 
lation, the Spanish general delivered the battle of 
the 25th, which was another great error, and an 
error exaggerated by the mode of execution. He 
who had so much experience, who had now com- 
manded in four or five pitched battles, was still so 
ignorant of his art, that with twice as many men 
as his adversary, and with the choice of time and 
place, he made three simultaneous attacks, on an 
extended front, without any connection or support ; 
and he had no reserves to restore the fight or to 
cover his retreat. A wide sweep of the net without 
regard to the strength or fierceness of his prey, 
was Blake's only notion, and the result was his 
own destruction. 

8°. Suchet's operations, especially his advance 
against Saguntum, leaving Oropesa behind him, 
were able and rapid. He saw the errors of his 
adversary, and made them fatal. To fight in front 
of Saguntum was no fault ; the French general 
acted with a just confidence in his own genius, and 
the valour of his troops. He gained that fortress 
by the battle, but he acknowledged that such were 
the difficulties of the siege, the place could only 
have been taken by a blockade, which would have 
required two months. 




Saguntum having fallen, Suchet conceived the chap 

plan of enclosing and capturing the whole of Blake's 
force, together with the city of Valencia, round Nov 
which it was encamped ; and he was not deterred 
from this project by the desultory operations of the 
Partidas in Aragon, nor by the state of Catalonia. 
Blake however, reverting to his former system, 
called up to Valencia, all the garrisons and depots 
of Murcia, and directed the conde de Montijo, 
who had been expelled by Soult from Grenada, to 
join Duran. He likewise ordered Freire to move 
upon Cuen^a, with the Murcian army, to support 
Montijo, Duran, and the Partida chiefs, who re- 
mained near Aragon after the defeat of the Empe- 
cinado. But the innumerable small bands, or rather 
armed peasants, immediately about Valencia, he 
made no use of, neither harassing the French nor 
in any manner accustoming these people to action. 

In Aragon his affairs turned out ill. Mazuchelli 
entirely defeated Duran in a hard fight, near Al- 
munia, on the 7th of November; on the 23d 
Campillo was defeated at Afiadon, and a Partida 
having appeared at Pefiarova, near Morella, the 
people rose against it. Finally Napoleon, seeing 
that the contest in Valencia was coming to a crisis, 
ordered general Reille to reinforce Suchet not only 
with Severoli's Italians, but with his own French 
division, in all fifteen thousand good troops. 

u 2 





book Meanwhile in Catalonia Lacy's activity had 
greatly diminished. He had, including the Tercios, 
above sixteen thousand troops, of which about 
twelve thousand were armed, and in conjunction 
with the junta he had classed the whole population 
in reserves ; but he was jealous of the people, who 
were generally of the church party, and, as he 
had before done in the Ronda, deprived them of 
their arms, although they had purchased them, 
in obedience to his own proclamation. He also 
discountenanced as much as possible the popular 
insurrection, and he was not without plausible 
reasons for this, although he could not justify the 
faithless and oppressive mode of execution. 

He complained that the Somatenes always lost 
their arms and ammunition, that they were tur- 
bulent, expensive, and bad soldiers, and that his 
object was to incorporate them by just degrees with 
the regular army, where they could be of service ; 
but then he made no good use of the latter him- 
self, and hence he impeded the irregulars without 
helping the regular warfare. His conduct disgusted 
the Catalonians. That people had always pos- 
sessed a certain freedom and loved it ; but they had" 
been treated despotically and unjustly, by all the 
different commanders who had been placed at 
their head, since the commencement of the war ; 
and now finding, that Lacy was even worse than 
his predecessors, their ardour sensibly diminished ; 
many went over to the French, and this feeling of 
discouragement was increased by some unfortunate 

Henriod governor of Lerida had on the 25th of 
October surprised and destroyed, in Balaguer, a 
swarm of Partidas which had settled on the plain 


of Urofel, and the Partizans on the left bank of the chap. 

^ in. 
Ebro had been defeated by the escort of one of 

the convoys. The French also entrenched a post ^ ov ' 
before the Medas Islands, in November, which pre- 
vented all communication by land, and in the same 
month Maurice Mathieu surprised Mattaro. The 
war had also now fatigued so many persons, that 
several towns were ready to receive the enemy as 
friends. Villa Nueva de Sitjes and other places Appendix, 
were in constant communication with Barcelona ; section 3. ' 
and the people of Cadaques openly refused to pay 
their contributions to Lacy, declaring that they had 
already paid the French and meant to side with the 
strongest. One Guinart, a member of the junta, 
was detected corresponding with the enemy ; coun- 
ter guerillas, or rather freebooting bands, made 
their appearance near Berga ; privateers of all na- 
tions infested the coast, and these pirates of the 
ocean, the disgrace of civilized warfare, generally 
agreed not to molest each other, but robbed all de- 
fenceless flags without distinction. Then the con- 
tinued bickerings between Sarsfield, Eroles, and 
Milans, and of all three with Lacy, who was, be- 
sides, on bad terms with captain Codrington, greatly 
affected the patriotic ardour of the people, and 
relieved the French armies from the alarm which 
the first operations had created. 

In Catalonia the generals in chief were never 
natives, nor identified in feeling with the natives. 
Lacy was unfitted for open warfare, and had re- 
course to the infamous methods of assassination. 
Campo Verde had given some countenance to this 
horrible system, but Lacy and his coadjutors have 
been accused of instigating the murder of French 
officers in their quarters, the poisoning of wells, 



book the drugging of wines and flour, and the firing of 
powder-magazines, regardless of the safety even 
of the Spaniards who might be within reach of the 
explosion ; and if any man shall doubt the truth 
of this allegation, let him read " The History of 
the Conspiracies against the French Armies in Ca- 
talonia." That work, printed in 1813 at Barcelona, 
contains the official reports of the military police, 
upon the different attempts, many successful, to 
destroy the French troops ; and when due allowance 
for an enemy's tale and for the habitual falsifica- 
tions of police agents is made, ample proof will 
remain that Lacy's warfare was one of assassination. 
The facility which the great size of Barcelona 
afforded for these attempts, together with its con- 
tinual cravings and large garrison, induced Napo- 
leon to think of dismantling the walls of the city, 
preserving only the forts. This simple military 
precaution has been noted by some writers as an 
indication that he even then secretly despaired 
of final success in the Peninsula ; but the weakness 
of this remark will appear evident, if we consider, 
that he had just augmented his immense army, 
that his generals were invading Valencia, and 
menacing Gallicia, after having relieved Badajos 
and Ciudad Rodrigo ; and that he was himself 
preparing to lead four hundred thousand men to 
the most distant extremity of Europe. However 
the place was not dismantled, and Maurice Mathieu 
contrived both to maintain the city in obedience 
and to take an important part in the field 

It was under these circumstances that Suchet 
advanced to the Guadalaviar, although his losses 
and the escorts for his numerous prisoners had 


diminished his force to eighteen thousand men chap. 

while Blake's army including Freire's division was !_ 

above twenty-five thousand, of which near three ^^' 
thousand were cavalry. He first summoned the 
city, to ascertain the public spirit ; he was answered 
in lofty terms, yet he knew by his secret communi- 
cations, that the enthusiasm of the people was not 
very strong ; and on the 3d of November he seized 
the Grao, and the suburb of Serranos on the left 
of the Guadalaviar. Blake had broken two, out 
of five, stone bridges on the river, had occupied 
some houses and convents which covered them on 
the left bank, and protected those bridges, which 
remained whole, with regular works. Suchet im- 
mediately carried the convents which covered the 
broken bridges in the Serranos, and fortified his 
position there and at the Grao, and thus blocked 
the Spaniards on that side with a small force, while 
he prepared to pass the river higher up with the 
remainder of his army. 

The Spanish defences on the right bank consisted 
of three posts. 

1°. The city itself which was surrounded by a 
circular wall thirty feet in height, and ten in thick- 
ness with a road along the summit, the platforms 
of the bastions being supported from within by 
timber scaffolding. There was also a wet ditch 
and a covered way with earthen works in front of 
the gates. 

2°. An intrenched camp of an irregular form five 
miles in extent. It enclosed the city and the three 
suburbs of Quarte, San Vincente, and Ruzafa. 
The slope of this work was so steep as to require 
scaling ladders, and there was a ditch in front 
twelve feet deep. 



book 3°. The lines, which extended along the banks 
of the river to the sea at one side, and to the 


1 ft 1 1 

Nov " villages of Quarte and Manisses on the other. 

The whole line, including the city and camp, 
was about eight miles ; the ground was broken 
with deep and wide canals of > irrigation, which 
branched off from the river just above the village 
of Quarte, and the Spanish cavalry was posted at 
Aldaya behind the left wing to observe the open 
country. Suchet could not venture to force the 
passage of the river until Reille had joined him, 
and therefore contented himself with sending par- 
ties over to skirmish, while he increased his secret 
communications in the city, and employed detach- 
ments to scour the country in his rear. In this 
manner, nearly two months passed; the French 
waited for reinforcements, and Blake hoped that 
while he thus occupied his enemy a general insur- 
rection would save Valencia. But in December, 
Reille, having given over the charge of Navarre 
and Aragon to general CafTarelli, marched to Teruel 
where Severoli with his Italians had already arrived. 

The vicinity of Freire, and Montijo, who now 
appeared near Cuenca, obliged Reille to halt at 
Teruel until general D'Armanac with a detachment 
of the army of the centre, had driven those 
Spanish generals away, but then he advanced 
to Segorbe, and as Freire did not rejoin Blake, 
and as the latter was ignorant of Reille's arrival, 
Suchet resolved to force the passage of the Guada- 
laviar instantly. 

On the 25th, the Neapolitan division being 
placed in the camp at the Serranos, to hold the 
Spaniards in check, Habert took post at the Grao, 
and Palombini's division was placed opposite the 


village of Mislata, which was about half way chap. 

between Valencia and the village of Quarte. Reille '— 

at the same time made a forced march by Liria and ^^' 
Benaguazil, and three bridges being thrown in the 
night, above the sources of the canals, opposite 
Ribaroya, the rest of the army crossed the Guada- 
laviar with all diligence on the 26th and formed in 
order of battle on the other side. It was then 
eight o'clock and Reille had not arrived, but Suchet, 
whose plan was to drive all Blake's army within 
the entrenched camp, fearing that the Spanish 
general, would evade the danger, if he saw the 
French divisions in march, resolved to push at once 
with Harispe's infantry and the cavalry to the 
Albufera or salt-lake, beyond Valencia, and so cut 
off Blake's retreat to the Xucar river. Robert's 
brigade therefore halted to secure the bridges, until 
Reille should come up, and while the troops, left 
on the other bank of the Guadalaviar, attacked all 
the Spanish river line of entrenchments, Suchet 
marched towards the lake as rapidly as the thick 
woods would permit. 

The French hussars soon fell in with the Spanish 
cavalry at Aldaya and were defeated, but this 
charge was stopped by the fire of the infantry, and 
the remainder of the French horsemen coming up 
overthrew the Spaniards. During this time Blake 
instead of falling on Suchet with his reserve, was 
occupied with the defence of the river, especially 
at the village of Mislata, where a false attack, to 
cover the passage at Ribaroya, had first given him 
the alarm. Palombini, who was at this point, had 
passed over some skirmishers and then throwing two 
bridges, attacked the entrenchments; but his troops 
were repulsed by Zayas, and driven back on the 


book river in disorder ; they rallied and had effected 


the passage of the canals, when a Spanish reserve 
Dec. coming up restored the fight, and the French were 
finally driven quite over the river. At that moment 
Reille's division, save one brigade which could not 
arrive in time, crossed at Ribaroya, and in concert 
with Robert, attacked Mahy in the villages of 
Manisses and Quarte, which had been fortified 
carefully in front, but were quite neglected on the 
rear, and on the side of Aldaya. Sachet who had 
been somewhat delayed at Aldaya by the aspect of 
affairs at Mislata, then continued his march to the 
lake, while Reille meeting with a feeble resistance 
at Manisses and Quarte, carried both at one sweep, 
and turned Mislata where he united with Palom- 
bini. Blake and Zayas retired towards the city 
but Mahy driven from Quarte took the road to 
Alcira, on the Xucar, and thus passing behind 
Suchet's division, was entirely cut off from Va- 

All the Spanish army, on the upper Guadalaviar, 
was now entirely beaten with the loss of its artillery 
and baggage, and below the city, Habert was 
likewise victorious. He had first opened a cannon- 
ade against the Spanish gun-boats near the Grao, 
and this flotilla although in sight of an English 
seventy-four and a frigate, and closely supported 
by the Papillon sloop, fled without returning a shot; 
the French then passed the water, and carried the 
entrenchment, which consisted of a feeble breast- 
work, defended by the irregulars who had only two 
guns. When the passage was effected Habert fixed 
his right, as a pivot, on the river, and sweeping 
round with his left, drove the Spaniards towards 
the camp ; but before he could connect his flank 


with Harispe's troops, who were on the lake, chap. 

Obispo's division, flying from Suchet's cavalry, — 

passed over the rice grounds between the lake and j^.' 
the sea, and so escaped to Cullera. The remainder 
of Blake's army about eighteen thousand of all 
kinds retired to the camp and were closely invested 
during the night. 

Three detachments of French dragoons, each 
man having an infantry soldier behind him, were 
then sent by different roads of Alcira, Cullera, and 
Cuenca, the two first in pursuit of Mahy and 
Obispo, the latter to observe Freire. Mahy was 
found in a position at Alcira, and Blake had al- 
ready sent him orders to maintain the line of the 
Xucar ; but he had lost his artillery, his troops 
were disheartened, and at the first shot he fled 
although the ground was strong and he had three 
thousand men while the French were not above 
a thousand. Obispo likewise abandoned Cullera 
and endeavoured to rejoin Mahy, when a very heavy 
and unusual fall of snow not only prevented their 
junction, but offered a fine advantage to the French. 
For the British consul thinking the Xucar would 
be defended, had landed large stores of provisions 
and ammunition at Denia and was endeavouring to 
re-embark them, when the storm drove the ships 
of war off the coast, and for three days fifty cavalry 
could have captured Denia and all the stores. 

In this battle which cost the French less than 
five hundred men, Zayas alone displayed his usual 
vigour and spirit, and while retiring upon the 
city, he repeatedly proposed to Blake to retreat by 
the road Mahy had followed, which would have 
saved the army ; yet the other was silent, for he 
was in every way incapable as an officer. With 



book twenty-three thousand infantry, a powerful cavalry, 

! and a wide river in his front — with the command 

of several bridges by which he could have operated 
on either side ; with strong entrenchments, a secure 
camp — with a fortified city in the centre, whence 
his reserves could have reached the most distant 
point of the scene of operation, in less than two 
hours — with all these advantages he had permitted 
Suchet whose force, seeing that one of Reille's 
brigades had not arrived, scarcely exceeded his 
own, to force the passage of the river, to beat him 
at all points, and to enclose him, by a inarch, 
which spread the French troops on a circuit of 
more than fifteen miles or five hours march ; and 
he now rejected the only means of saving his army. 
But Suchet's operations which indeed were of the 
nature of a surprise, proves that he must have had 
a supreme contempt for his adversary's talents, 
and the country people partook of the sentiment ; 
the French parties which spread over the country 
for provisions, as far as Xativa, were every where 
well received, and Blake complained that Valencia 
contained a bad people. 

The 2d of December, the Spanish general, find- 
ing his error, attempted at the head of ten thousand 
men to break out by the left bank of the Guada- 
laviar ; but his arrangements were unskilful, and 
when his advanced guard of five thousand men had 
made way, it was abandoned, and the main column 
returned to the city. The next day many deserters 
went over to the French, and Reille's absent bri- 
gade, now arrived and reinforced the posts on the 
left bank of the river. Suchet fortified his camp 
on the right bank, and having in the night of the 
30th repulsed two thousand Spaniards who made a 


sally, commenced regular approaches against the chap. 
camp and city. 



It was impossible for Blake to remain long in 
the camp ; the city contained one hundred and 
fifty thousand souls besides the troops, and there 
was no means of provisioning them, because 
Suchet's investment was complete. Sixty heavy 
guns with their pares of ammunition which had 
reached Saguntum, were transported across the river 
Guadalaviar to batter the works ; and as the suburb 
of San Vincente, and the Olivet offered two pro- 
jecting points of the entrenched camp, which pos- 
sessed but feeble means of defence, the trenches 
were opened against them in the night of the 1st of 

The fire killed colonel Henri, the chief engineer, 
but in the night of the 5th the Spaniards abandoned 
the camp and took refuge in the city ; the French, 
perceiving the movement, escaladed the works, 
and seized two of the suburbs so suddenly, that 
they captured eighty pieces of artillery and estab- 
lished themselves within twenty yards of the town 
wall, when their mortar batteries opened upon 
the place. In the evening, Suchet sent a sum. 
mons to Blake, who replied, that he would have 
accepted certain terms the day before, but that the 
bombardment had convinced him, that he might 
now depend upon both the citizens and the troops. 

This answer satisfied Suchet. He was convinced 
the place would not make any defence, and he con- 
tinued to throw shells until the 8th ; after which he 



book made an attack upon the suburb of Quarte, but 


the Spaniards still held out and he was defeated. 
January However, the bombardment killed many persons, 
and set fire to the houses in several quarters ; and as 
there were no cellars or caves, as at Zaragoza, the 
chief citizens begged Blake to capitulate. While 
he was debating with them, a friar bearing a flag, 
which he called the Standard of the Faith, came 
up with a mob, and insisted upon lighting to the 
last, and when a picquet of soldiers was sent against 
him, he routed it and shot the officer ; nevertheless 
his party was soon dispersed. Finally, when a 
convent of Dominicans close to the walls was 
taken, and five batteries ready to open, Blake de- 
manded leave to retire to Alicant with arms, bag- 
gage, and four guns. 

These terms were refused, but a capitulation 
guaranteeing property and oblivion of the past, and 
providing that the unfortunate prisoners in the island 
of Cabrera should be exchanged against an equal 
number of Blake's army, was negotiated and ratified 
on the 9th. Then Blake complaining bitterly of 
the people, gave up the city. Above eighteen 
thousand regular troops, with eighty stand of co- 
lours, two thousand horses, three hundred and 
ninety guns, forty thousand muskets, and enormous 
stores of powder were taken ; and it is not one of 
the least remarkable features of this extraordinary 
war, that intelligence of the fall of so great a city 
took a week to reach Madrid, and it was not known 
in Cadiz until one month after ! 

On the 14th of January Suchet made his tri- 
umphal entry into Valencia, having completed a 
series of campaigns in which the feebleness of his 
adversaries somewhat diminished his glory, but in 


which his own activity and skill were not the less chap. 

conspicuous. Napoleon created him duke of Al- . — 

bufera, and his civil administration was strictly in j^JJL 
unison with his conduct in the field, that is to say- 
vigorous and prudent. He arrested all dangerous 
persons, especially the friars, and sent them to 
France, and he rigorously deprived the people of 
their military resources ; but he proportioned his 
demands to their real ability, kept his troops in 
perfect discipline, was careful not to offend the 
citizens by violating their customs, or shocking their 
religious prejudices, and endeavoured, as much as 
possible, to govern through the native authorities. 
The archbishop and many of the clergy aided him, 
and the submission of the people was secured. 

The errors of the Spaniards contributed as much 
to this object, as the prudent vigilance of Suchet ; 
for although the city was lost, the kingdom of Va- 
lencia might have recovered from the blow, under the 
guidance of able men. The convents and churches 
were full of riches, the towns and villages abounded 
in resources, the line of the Xucar was very strongs 
and several fortified places and good harbours re- 
mained unsubdued ; the Partidas in the hills were 
still numerous, the people were willing to fight, 
and the British agents and the British fleets were 
ready to aid, and to supply arms and stores. The 
junta however dissolved itself, the magistrates fled 
from their posts, the populace were left without 
chiefs ; and when the consul, Tupper, proposed to 
establish a commission of government, having at 
its head the padre Rico, the author of Valencia's 
first defence against Moncey, and the most able 
and energetic man in those parts, Mahy evaded the 



book proposition ; he would not give Rico power, and 

shewed every disposition to impede useful exertion. 

January. Then the leading people either openly submitted 
or secretly entered into connection with the French, 
who were thus enabled tranquilly to secure the 
resources of the country; and as the regency at 
Cadiz refused the stipulated exchange of prisoners, 
the Spanish army was sent to France, and the 
horrors of the Cabrera were prolonged. 

During the siege of Valencia, Freire, with his 
Murcians, including a body of cavalry, had aban- 
doned the passes of the Contreras district [and 
retired across the Xucar to Almanza ; Mahy oc- 
cupied Alcoy, and Villa Campa had marched to 
Carthagena. Suchet wished to leave them undis- 
turbed until he was ready to attack Alicant itself. 
But to ensure the fall of Valencia, Napoleon had 
directed Soult to hold ten thousand men in the 
Despenas Peros, ready to march if necessary to 
Suchet's assistance ; and at the same time Marmont 
was ordered to detach Montbrun with two divisions 
of infantry and one of cavalry, from the valley of 
the Tagus, to co-operate with the army of Aragon. 
These last-named troops should have interposed 
between Valencia and Alicant before the battle of 
the 26th, but they were delayed, and only reached 
Almanza on the 9th, the very day Valencia sur- 
rendered. Freire retreated before them, and Mahy, 
who was preparing to advance again to Alcira, 
took shelter in Alicant. Montbrun knew that 
Valencia had fallen, and was advised by Suchet 
to return immediately, but ambitious to share in 
the glory of the hour he marched against Alicant, 
and throwing a few shells summoned it to surrender. 



The municipal authorities, the governor and many chap. 
of the leading people, were disposed to yield, yet 

Montbrun did not press them, and when he re- j anuar ' y . 
tired the place was, as Suchet had foreseen, put 
into a state of defence. The consul, Tupper, and 
Roche, the military agent, by distributing clothes 
and food to the naked famishing soldiers, restored 
their courage, drew many more to Alicant, and 
stopped the desertion, which was so great that 
in one month Freire's division alone had lost two 
thousand men. Montbrun's attempt therefore, hurt 
the French interests, and his troops on their return 
to Toledo wasted and pillaged the country through 
which they passed in a shameful manner. 

Villa Campa now abandoned Carthagena and re- 
turned to the mountains of Albarazin ; and Suchet, 
embarrassed by the failure at Alicant, and dreading 
the fever at Carthagena, posted Harispe's division 
on the Xucar, to guard against the pestilence rather 
than to watch the enemy. Yet he seized Gandia 
and Denia, which last was strangely neglected both 
by the Spaniards and by the British squadron after 
the stores were removed ; for the castle had sixty 
guns mounted, and many vessels were in the port ; 
and as a post it was important, and might easily 
have been secured until a Spanish garrison could, 
be thrown in. When these points were secured 
Suchet detached a brigade on the side of Cabrillas 
to preserve the communication with Cuenca, and 
then directed Musnier's division to form the siege 
of Peniscola ; but at the moment of investing that 
place, intelligence arrived that Taragona, the gar- 
rison of which, contrary to orders, had consumed 
the reserve-provisions, was menaced by Lacy ; 
wherefore Severoli's division moved from Valencia 

VOL. TV. x 


book to replace Musnier, and the latter marched to Tor- 
. L_toza in aid of Taragona. Previous to Musnier's 

I812. arr ival, Lafosse, governor of Tortoza, had advanced 

January. 1 ' ° 7 

with some cavalry and a battalion of infantry to 
the fort of Balaguer, to observe Lacy, and being 
falsely told that the Spaniards were in retreat, 
entered Cambril the 19th, and from thence pushed 
on with his cavalry to Taragona. Lacy .was nearer 
than he imagined. 

It will be remembered that the Catalan army 
was posted in the valley of the Congosta and at 
Mattaro, to intercept the French convoy to Barce- 
lona. In December Maurice Mathieu seized Mat- 
taro, while Dacaen, who had received some rein- 
forcements, brought down the long expected con- 
voy, and the Spaniards being thus placed between 
two fires, after a slight action, opened the road. 
When Dacaen returned to Gerona they resumed 
their position, but Lacy after proposing several new 
projects, which he generally relinquished at the 
moment of execution, at last decided to fall on 
Taragona, and afterwards to invade Aragon. With 
this view, he drew off Eroles' division and some 
cavalry, in all about six thousand men, from the 
Congosta, and took post about the 18th of January, 
at Reus. Stores from Cadiz were landed from the 
English vessels at Cape Salou ; captain Codrington 
repaired to the Spanish quarters on the 19th to 
concert a combined operation with the fleet, and it 
was at this moment the scouts brought word that 
Lafosse had entered Taragona with the cavalry, 
and that the French infantry, about eight hundred 
in number, were at Villa Seca, ignorant of the 
vicinity of the Spanish army. 

Lacy immediately put his troops in motion, and 


captain Codrin£ton would have returned to his ship, chap. 
, i Iir - 
but a patrol of French dragoons chased him back, 

and another patrol pushing to Salou made two j aniia iy. 
captains and a lieutenant of the squadron prisoners, 
and brought them to Villa Seca. By this time, 
however, Lacy had fallen upon the French infantry 
in front, and Eroles turning both their flanks, and 
closing upon their rear, killed or wounded two 
hundred when the remainder surrendered. 

The naval officers, thus freed, immediately re- 
gained their ships, and the squadron was that 
night before Taragona ; but a gale of wind off shore 
impeded its fire, the Spaniards did not appear on 
the land-side, and the next day the increasing 
gale obliged the ships to anchor to the eastward. 
Lacy had meanwhile abandoned the project against 
Taragona, and after sending his prisoners to Busa, 
went off himself towards Montserrat, leaving Eroles' 
division, reinforced by a considerable body of armed 
peasantry, in a position at Altafulla, behind the 
Gaya. Here the bridge in front being broken, 
and the position strong, Eroles, who had been also 
promised the aid of Sarsfield's division, awaited the 
attack of three thousand men who were coming from 
Barcelona, He was however ignorant that Dacaen, 
finding the ways from Gerona open, because Sarsfield 
had moved to the side of Vich, had sent general 
Lamarque with five thousand men to Barcelona, 
and that Maurice Mathieu was thus in march not 
with three but eight thousand good troops. 


The French generals, anxious to surprise Eroles, 
took pains to conceal their numbers, and while 

x 2 


book Maurice Mathieu appeared in front, Lamarque was 


turning the left flank. They marched all night, 
1812. an( j at day -break on the 24th, having forded the 

January. J . 

river, made a well combined and vigorous attack, 
by which the Spaniards were defeated with a loss 
of more than one thousand killed and wounded. 
The total dispersion of the beaten troops baffled 
pursuit, and the French in returning to Barcelona 
suffered from the fire of the British squadron, but 
Eroles complained that Sarsfield had kept away 
with a settled design to sacrifice him. 

While this was passing in Lower Catalonia, 
Dacaen scoured the higher country about Olot, and 
then descending into the valley of Vich defeated 
Sarsfield at Centellas, and that general himself 
was taken, but rescued by one of his soldiers. 
From Centellas, Dacaen marched by Caldas and 
Sabadel upon Barcelona, where he arrived the 
27th January, meanwhile Musnier re-victualled 
Taragona. Thus the Catalans were again reduced to 
great straits, for the French knowing that they were 
soon to be reinforced, occupied all the sea-coast, 
made new roads out of reach of fire from the ships, 
established fresh posts at Moncado, Mattaro, Pala- 
mos, and Cadaques, placed detachments in the 
higher valleys, and obliged their enemies to resort 
once more to an irregular warfare ; which was 
however but a feeble resource, because from Lacy's 
policy the people were now generally disarmed and 

Milans, Manso, Eroles, Sarsfield, and Rovira, 
indeed, although continually quarrelling, kept the 
field ; and being still supplied with arms and stores 
which the British navy contrived to land, and send 
into the interior, sustained the war as partizans 


until new combinations were produced by the efforts chap. 

of England ; but Lacy's intrigues and unpopularity ! — 

increased, a general gloom prevailed, and the foun- j^JL 
dations of strength in the principality were shaken. 
The patriots indeed still possessed, the mountains, 
but the French held all the towns, all the ports, and 
most of the lines of communication ; and their 
moveable columns without difficulty gathered the 
harvests of the valleys, and chased the most daring 
of the partizans. Meanwhile Suchet, seeing that 
Taragona was secure, renewed his operations. 


This fortress, crowning the summit of a lofty 
rock in the sea, was nearly impregnable ; and the 
only communication with the shore, was by a neck 
of land sixty yards wide and two hundred and fifty 
long. In the middle of the town there was a strong 
castle, well furnished with guns and provisions, and 
some British ships of war were at hand to aid the 
defence; the rock yielded copious springs of water, 
and deep marshes covered the approach to the neck 
of land, which being covered by the waves in heavy 
gales, bad also an artifical cut defended by bat- 
teries and flanked by gun-boats. Garcia Navarro, 
who had been taken during the siege of Tortoza, 
but had escaped from France, was now governor 
of Peniscola, and his garrison was sufficiently nu- 

On the 20th ground was broken, and mortar- 
batteries being established twelve hundred yards 
from the fort, opened their fire on the 28th. 

In the night of the 31st a parallel five hundred 


book yards long was built of fascines and gabions, and 
! — batteries were commenced on either flank. 

Febmar * n tne n ig nt °f tne 2d of February the approaches 
were pushed beyond the first parallel, and the breach- 
ing batteries being finished and armed were going to 
open when a privateer captured a despatch from the 
governor, who complained in it that the English 
wished to take the command of the place, and declared 
his resolution rather to surrender than suffer them 
to do so. On this hint Suchet opened negotiations 
which- terminated in the capitulation of the fortress, 
the troops being allowed to go where they pleased. 
The French found sixty guns mounted, and the 
easy reduction of such a strong place, which secured 
their line of communication, produced a general 
disposition in the Valencians to submit to fortune. 
Such is Suchet's account of this affair, but the 
colour which he thought it necessary to give to 
a transaction, full of shame and dishonour, to Na- 
varro, can only be considered as part of the price 
paid for Peniscola. The true causes of its fall 
were treachery and cowardice. The garrison were 
from the first desponding and divided in opinion, 
and the British naval officers did but stimulate 
the troops and general to do their duty to their 

After this capture, six thousand Poles quitted 
Suchet, for Napoleon required all the troops of 
that nation for his Russian expedition. These 
veterans marched by Jaca, taking with them 
the prisoners of Blake's army, at the same time 
Reille's two French divisions were ordered to 
form a separate corps of observation on the Lower 
Ebro, and Palombini's Italian division was sent 
towards Soria and Catalayud to oppose Montijo, 



Villa Campa, and Bassecour, who were still in chap 
joint operation on that side. But Reille .soon 


marched towards Aragon, and Severoli's division February. 
took his place on the Lower Ebro ; for the Par- 
tidas of Duran, Empecinado, and those numerous 
bands from the Asturias and La Montana composing 
the seventh army, harassed Navarre and Aragon 
and were too powerful for CafFarelli. Mina's also 
re-entered Aragon in January, surprised Huesca, 
and being attacked during his retreat at Lumbiar 
repulsed the enemy and carried off his prisoners. 

Suchet's field force in Valencia was thus reduced 
by twenty thousand men, he had only fifteen thou- 
sand left, and consequently could not push the in- 
vasion on the side of Murcia. The approaching 
departure of Napoleon from Paris also altered the 
situation of the French armies in the Peninsula. 
The king was again appointed the emperor's lieu- 
tenant, and he extended the right wing of Suchet's 
army to Cuenca, and concentrated the army of the 
centre at Madrid ; thus Valencia was made, as it 
were, a mere head of cantonments, in front of 
which fresh Spanish armies soon assembled, and 
Alicant then became an object of interest to the 
English government. Suchet, who had neglected 
the wound he received at the battle of Saguntum, 
now fell into a dangerous disorder, and that fierce 
flame of war which seemed destined to lick up all 
the remains of the Spanish power, was suddenly 


1°. The events which led to the capitulation of 



hook Valencia, were but a continuation of those faults 


. ! which had before ruined the Spanish cause in every 

part of the Peninsula, namely, the neglect of all 
good military usages, and the mania for fighting 
great battles with bad troops. 

2°. Blake needed not to have fought a serious 
action during any part of the campaign. He might 
have succoured Saguntum without a dangerous 
battle, and might have retreated in safety behind 
the Guadalaviar; he might have defended that 
river without risking his whole army, and then 
have retreated behind the Xucar. He should never 
have shut up his army in Valencia, but having done 
so he should never have capitulated. Eighteen 
thousand men, well conducted, could always have 
broken through the thin circle of investment, drawn 
by Suchet, especially as the Spaniards had the 
power of operating on both banks of the river. 
But the campaign was one huge error throughout, 
and was pithily summed up in one sentence by the 
duke of Wellington. Being accused by the re- 
gency at Cadiz of having caused the catastrophe, 
by permitting the army of the north and that of 
Portugal to send reinforcements to Suchet, he re- 
plied thus — " The misfortunes of Valencia are to 
be attributed to Blake's ignorance of his profession^ 
and to Mahi's cowardice and treachery!" 




The affairs of these provinces were so intimately chap 
connected, that they cannot be treated separately, IV< 
wherefore, taking Soult's position at Seville as the 1811, 
centre of a vast system, I will show how, from 
thence, he dealt his powerful blows around, and 
struggled, even as a consuming fire, which none 
could smother though many tried. 

Seville the base of his movements, and the store- 
house of his army, was fortified with temporary 
citadels, which, the people being generally sub- 
missive, were tenable against desultory attacks. 
From this point he maintained his liue of communi- 
cation, with the army of Portugal, through Estre- 
madura, and with Madrid through La Mancha ; 
and from this point he sustained the most diver- 
sified operations on all parts of a circle, which 
embraced the Condado de Niebla, Cadiz, Grenada, 
Cordoba, and Estremadura. 

The Niebla, which furnished large supplies, was 
the most vulnerable point, because from thence the 
allies might intercept the navigation of the river 
Guadalquivir, and so raise the blockade of Cadiz ; 
and the frontier of Portugal would cover the as- 
sembly of the troops until the moment of attack. 
Moreover, expeditions from Cadiz to the mouth of 
the Guadiana were as we have seen frequent. Ne- 


book vertheless, when Blake and Ballesteros had been 

driven from Ayamonte, in July and August, the 
French were masters of the Condado with the ex- 
ception of the castle of Paymago, wherefore Soult, 
dreading the autumnal pestilence, did not keep 
more than twelve hundred men on that side. 

The blockade of the Isla was always maintained 
by Victor, whose position formed an irregular cres- 
cent, extending from San Lucar de Barameda on 
the right, to Conil on the left, and running through 
Xeres, Arcos, Medina, Sidonia, and Chiclana. But 
that marshal while thus posted was in a manner 
blockaded himself. In the Isla, including the Anglo- 
Portuguese division, there were never less than 
sixteen thousand troops, who, having the command 
of the sea, could at any moment land on the flanks 
of the French. The Partidas, although neither nu- 
merous nor powerful, often impeded the intercourse 
with Seville; the Serranos of the Ronda and the 
regular forces at Algeziras issuing, as it were, from 
the fortress of Gibraltar, cut the communication 
with Grenada ; and as Tarifa was still held by the 
allies, for general Campbell would never relinquish 
that important point, the fresh supplies of cattle, 
drawn from the great plain called the Campiiia de 
Tarifa, were straightened. Meanwhile the expe- 
ditions to Estremadura and Murcia, the battles of 
Barosa and Albuera, and the rout of Baza, had 
employed all the disposable part of the army of the 
south ; hence Victor's corps, scarcely strong enough 
to preserve its own fortified position, could make 
no progress in the attack of the Isla. This weak- 
ness of the French army being well known in 
Cadiz, the safety of that city was no longer doubt- 
ful, a part of the British garrison therefore joined lord 



Wellington's army, and Blake as we have seen car- chap. 
ried his Albuera soldiers to Valencia. ! — 

In Grenada the fourth corps, which, after the 
departure of Sebastiani, was commanded by general 
Laval, had two distinct tasks to fulfil. The one to 
defend the eastern frontier from the Murcian army; 
the other to maintain the coast line, beyond the 
Alpuxaras, against the efforts of the Partidas of 
those mountains, against the Serranos of the Ronda, 
and against the expeditionary armies from Cadiz 
and from Algeziras. However, the defeat at Baza, 
and the calling off of Mahi, Freire, and Montijo 
to aid the Valencian operations, secured the Gre- 
nadan frontier ; and Martin Carera, who was left 
there with a small force, having pushed his par- 
tizan excursions rashly, was killed in a skirmish at 
Lorca about the period when Valencia surrendered. 

Cordoba was generally occupied by a division 
of five or six thousand men, who were ready to 
operate on the side of Estremadura, or on that of 
Murcia, and meanwhile chased the Partidas, who 
were more numerous there than in other parts, and 
were also connected with those of La Mancha. 

Estremadura was the most difficult field of ope- 
ration. There Badajos, an advanced point, was to 
be supplied and defended from the most formidable 
army in the Peninsula ; there the communications 
with Madrid, and with the army of Portugal, were 
to be maintained by the way of Truxillo ; and 
there the fifth French corps, commanded by Drouet, 
had to collect its subsistence from a ravaged 
country ; to preserve its communications over the 
Sierra Morena with Seville ; to protect the march 
of monthly convoys to Badajos ; to observe the 
corps of general Hill, and to oppose the enterprises 


book of Morillo's Spanish army, which was becoming 
! — numerous and bold. 

Neither the Spanish nor British divisions could 
prevent Drouet from sending convoys to Badajos, 
because of the want of bridges on the Guadiana, 
below the fortress, but Morillo incommoded his 
foraging parties ; for being posted at Valencia de 
Alcantara, and having his retreat upon Portugal 
always secure, he vexed the country about Caceres, 
and even pushed his incursions to Truxillo. The 
French general, therefore, kept a strong detachment 
beyond the Guadiana, but this exposed his troops 
to Hill's enterprises ; and that bold and vigilant 
commander having ten thousand excellent troops, 
and being well instructed by Wellington, was a 
very dangerous neighbour. 

Marmonfs position in the valley of the Tagus ; 
the construction of the forts and bridge at Almaraz, 
which enabled him to keep a division at Truxillo, 
and connected him with the army of the south, 
tended indeed to hold Hill in check, and strength- 
ened the French position in Estremadura ; never- 
theless, Drouet generally remained near Zafra with 
his main body, because from thence he could more 
easily make his retreat good to the Morena, or 
advance to Merida and Badajos as occasion re- 

Such was the state of military affairs on the 
different parts of the circle round Seville, at the 
period when Suchet invaded Valencia, and Welling- 
ton blockaded Ciudad Rodrigo ; and to support his 
extensive operations, the duke of Dalmatia, if his 
share of the reinforcements which entered Spain in 
Appendix, July and August had joined him, would have had 
section 3. about a hundred thousand troops, of which ninety 


thousand men and fourteen thousand horses were chap. 

French. But the reinforcements were detained in 

the different governments, and the actual number October. 
of French present with the eagles was not more 
than sixty-seven thousand. 

The first corps contained twenty thousand ; the 
fourth and fifth about eleven thousand each ; the 
garrison of Badajos was five thousand ; twenty 
thousand formed a disposable reserve, and the rest 
of the force consisted of " Escopeteros " and civic 
guards, who were chiefly employed in the garrisons 
and police. Upon pressing occasions, Soult could 
therefore take the field, at any point, with twenty- 
four or twenty-five thousand men, and in Estre- 
madura, on very pressing occasions, with even a 
greater number of excellent troops well and power- 
fully organized. The manner in which this great 
army was paralysed in the latter part of 1811, shall 
now be shown. 

In October, Drouet was in the Morena, and 
Girard at Merida, watching Morillo, who was in 
Caceres, when Soult, who had just returned to 
Seville after his Murcian expedition, sent three 
thousand men to Fregenal, seemingly to menace 
the Alemtejo. General Hill therefore recalled his 
brigades from the right bank of the Tagus, and 
concentrated his whole corps behind the Campo 
Maior on the 9th. 

The 1 1th Girard and Drouet advanced, the 
Spanish cavalry retired from Caceres, the French 
drove Morillo to Caza de Cantellana, and every 
thing indicated a serious attack ; but at this mo- 
ment Soult's attention was attracted by the appear- 
ance of Ballesteros in the Ronda, and he recalled 
the force from Fregenal. Drouet, who had reached 


book Merida, then retired to Zafra, leaving Girard with 

! — a division and some cavalry near Caceres. 

October. Ballesteros had disembarked at Algeziras on the 
11th of September, and immediately marched with 
his own and Beguine's troops, in all four thousand 
men, to Ximena, raising fresh levies and collecting 
the Serranos of the Ronda as he advanced. On 
the 18th he had endeavoured to succour the castle 
of Alcala de Gazules, where Beguines had a garri- 
son, but a French detachment from Chiclana had 
already reduced that post, and after some skirmish- 
ing both sides fell back, the one to Chiclana, the 
other to Ximena. 

At this time six thousand French were col- 
lected at Ubrique, intending to occupy the sea- 
coast, from Algeziras to Conil, in furtherance of 
a great project which Soult was then meditating, 
and by which he hoped to effect, not only the 
entire subjection of Andalusia, but the destruc- 
tion of the British power in the Peninsula. But 
this design, which shall be hereafter explained 
more fully, required several preliminary operations, 
amongst the most important of which was the 
capture of Tarifa; for that place, situated in the 
narrowest part of the straits, furnished either a 
protection, or a dangerous point of offence, to the 
Mediterranean trade, following the relations of its 
possessor with England. It affected, as we have 
seen, the supplies of the French before the Isla ; 
it was from its nearness, and from the run of the 
current, the most convenient and customary point 
for trading with Morocco ; it menaced the security 
of Ceuta, and it possessed, from ancient recollec- 
tions, a species of feudal superiority over the 
smaller towns, and ports along the coast, which 


would have given the French, if they had taken it, chap. 

a moral influence of some consequence. ! — 

Soult had in August despatched a confidental Q^er 
officer from Conil to the African coast to negotiate 
with the Barbaric emperor, and the latter had 
agreed to a convention, by which he engaged to 
exclude British agents from his court ; and to per- 
mit vessels of all nations to use the Moorish flag 
to cover their cargoes, while carrying to the French 
those supplies hitherto sent to the allies, provided 
Soult would occupy Tarifa as a depot. This im- 
portant convention was on the point of being rati- 
fied, when the opportune arrival of some unusually 
magnificent presents from England, turned the scale 
against the French : their agent was then dismissed, 
the English supplies were increased, and Mr. Stuart 
entered into a treaty for the purchase of horses to 
remount the allied cavalry. 

Although foiled in this attempt, Soult, calculating 
on the capricious nature of barbarians, resolved to 
fulfil his part by the capture of Tarifa ; hence it 
was, that when Ballesteros appeared at Ximena, he 
arrested the movement of Drouet against the Alem- 
tejo, and sent troops from Seville by Ubrique 
against the Spanish general, whose position besides 
being extremely inconvenient to the first and fourth 
corps, was likely to affect the taking of Tarifa. Bal- 
lesteros, if reinforced, might also have become very 
dangerous to the blockade of Cadiz, by intercepting 
the supplies from the Campiria de Tarifa, and still 
more by menacing Victor's communications with Se- 
ville, along the Guadalquiver. A demonstration by 
the allies in the Isla de Leon arrested the march of 
these French troops for a moment, but on the 14th 
eight thousand men under generals Godinot and Se- 


book mele advanced upon St. Roque and Algeziras. The 


inhabitants of those places immediately fled to the 
October g reen island, and Ballesteros took refuge under 
Gibraltar, where his flanks were covered by the 
gun-boats of the place. The garrison was too weak 
to assist him with men, and thus cooped up, he 
lived upon the resources of the place, while efforts 
were therefore made to draw off the French by 
harassing their flanks. The naval means were not 
sufficient to remove his whole army to another 
quarter, but seven hundred were transported to 
Manilba, where the Serranos and some Partidas had 
assembled on the left of the French, and at the 
same time twelve hundred British troops with four 
guns, under colonel Skerrett, and two thousand 
Spaniards, under Copons, sailed from Cadiz to 
Tarifa to act upon the French right. 

Copons was driven back by a gale of wind, but 
Skerrett arrived the 17th. The next day Godinot 
sent a detachment against him, but the sea-road by 
which it marched was so swept with the guns of 
the Tuscan frigate, aided by the boats of the 
Stately, that the French after losing some men 
returned. Then Godinot and Semele being in dis- 
pute, and without provisions, retreated ; they were 
followed by Ballesteros' cavalry as far as Ximena, 
where the two generals separated in great anger, 
and Godinot having reached Seville shot himself. 
This failure in the south unsettled Soult's plans, 
and was followed by a heavier disaster in Estre- 



When Drouet had retired to Zafra, Hill received 
orders from Wellington to drive Girard away from 
Caceres, that Morillo might forage that country. 
For this purpose he assembled his corps at Albu- 
querque on the 23d, and Morillo brought the 
fifth Spanish army to Aliseda on the Salor. 
Girard was then at Caceres with an advanced guard 
at Aroyo de Puerco, but on the 24th Hill occu- 
pied Aliseda and Casa de Cantillana, and the 
Spanish cavalry drove the French from Aroyo de 
Puerco. The 26th at day-break Hill entered Mal- 
partida de Caceres, and his cavalry pushed back 
that of the enemy. Girard then abandoned Caceres, 
but the weather was wet and stormy, and Hill, 
having no certain knowledge of the enemy's move- 
ments, halted for the night at Malpartida. 

On the morning of the 27th the Spaniards 
entered Caceres ; the enemy was tracked to Torre 
Mocha on the road to Merida; and the British 
general, hoping to intercept their line of march, 
pursued by a cross road, through Aldea de Cano 
and Casa de Don Antonio. During this move- 
ment intelligence was received that the French 
general had halted at Aroyo Molino, leaving a 
rear-guard at Albala, on the main road to Caceres, 
which proved that he was ignorant of the new 
direction taken by the allies, and only looked to a 
pursuit from Caceres. Hill immediately seized the 
advantage, and by a forced march reached Alcuesca 
in the night, being then within a league of Aroyo 
de Molinos. 

This village was situated in a plain, and be- 

VOL. IV. y 




book hind it a sierra or ridge of rocks, rose in the form 


.of a crescent, about two miles wide on the chord. 
October ^ne roa( ^ ^ directly from Alcuesca upon Aroyo, 
another entered it from the left, and three led from 
it to the right. The most distant of the last was 
the Truxillo road, which rounded the extremity of 
the sierra ; the nearest was the Merida road, and 
between them was that of Medellin. 

During the night, though the weather was dread- 
ful, no fires were permitted in the allied camp ; and 
at two o'clock in the morning of the 28th, the troops 
moved to a low ridge, half a mile from Aroyo, 
under cover of which they formed three bodies ; 
the infantry on the wings and the cavalry in the 
centre. The left column then marched straight upon 
the village, the right marched towards the extreme 
point of the sierra, where the road to Truxillo 
turned the horn of the crescent; the cavalry kept 
its due place between both. 

One brigade of Girard's division, having marched 
at four o'clock by the road of Medellin, was already 
safe, but Dombrou ski's brigade and the cavalry of 
Briche were still in the place ; the horses of the 
rear-guard, unbridled, were tied to the olive-trees, 
and the infantry were only gathering to form on the 
Medellin road outside the village. Girard himself 
was in his quarters, waiting for his horse, when 
two British officers galloped down the street, and 
in an instant all was confusion ; the cavalry bridled 
their horses, and the infantry run to their alarming 
posts. But a thick mist rolled down the craggy 
mountain, a terrifying shout, drowning even the 
clatter of the elements arose on the blast, and with 
the driving storm came the seventy-first and ninety- 
second regiments, charging down the street. Then 


the French rear-guard of cavalry, fighting and chap. 
struggling hard, were driven to the end of the 


village, and the infantry, hastily forming their October, 
squares, covered the main body of the horsemen 
which gathered on their left. 

The seventy-first immediately lined the garden- 
walls, and opened a galling fire on the nearest 
square, while the ninety-second filing out of the 
streets formed upon the French right; the fiftieth 
regiment closely following, secured the prisoners in 
the village, and the rest of the column, headed by 
the Spanish cavalry, skirted the outside of the 
houses, and endeavoured to intercept the line of 
retreat The guns soon opened on the French 
squares, the thirteenth dragoons captured their 
artillery, the ninth dragoons and German hussars, 
charged their cavalry and entirely dispersed it with 
great loss ; but Girard, an intrepid officer, although 
wounded, still kept his infantry together, and con- 
tinued his retreat by the Truxillo road. The right 
column of the allies was however already in pos- 
session of that line, the cavalry and artillery were 
close upon the French flank, and the left column, 
having re-formed, was again coming up fast ; 
Girard's men were falling by fifties, and his 
situation was desperate, yet he would not surren- 
der, but giving the word to disperse, endeavoured 
to escape by scaling the almost inaccessible rocks 
of the sierra. His pursuers, not less obstinate, 
immediately divided. The Spaniards ascended 
the hills at an easier part beyond his left, the 
thirty-ninth regiment and Ashworth's Portuguese 
turned the mountain by the Truxillo road ; the 
twenty-eighth and thirty-fourth, led by general 
Howard, followed him step by step up the 

y 2 


book rocks, and prisoners were taken every moment, 

— until the pursuers, heavily loaded, were unable 

October. to continue the trial of speed with men who had 
thrown away their arms and packs. Girard, 
Dombrouski, and Briche, escaped at first to San 
Hernando, and Zorita, in the Guadalupe moun- 
tains, after which, crossing the Guadiana at 
Orellano on the 9th of November, they rejoined 
Drouet with about six hundred men, the remains 
of three thousand. They were said to be the 
finest troops then in Spain, and indeed their re- 
solution not to surrender in such an appalling 
situation was no mean proof of their excellence. 

The trophies of this action were the capture of 
twelve or thirteen hundred prisoners, including 
general Bron, and the prince of Aremberg ; all the 
French artillery, baggage, and commissariat, to- 
gether with a contribution just raised ; and du- 
ring the fight, a Portuguese brigade, being united 
to Penne Villamur's cavalry was sent to Me- 
rida, where some stores were found. The loss of 
the allies was not more than seventy killed and 
wounded, but one officer, lieutenant Strenowitz, 
was taken. He was distinguished by his courage 
and successful enterprises, but he was an Austrian, 
who having abandoned the French army in Spain 
to join Julian Sanchez' Partida, was liable to death 
by the laws of war ; having been however originally 
forced into the French service he was, in reality, 
no deserter. General Hill, anxious to save him, 
applied frankly to general Drouet, and such was 
the latter's good temper, that while smarting under 
this disaster he released his prisoner. 

Girard was only deprived of his division, which 
was given to general Barois, yet in a military 


point of view his offence was unpardonable. He chap. 

knew two or three days before, that general Hill ! 

was near him ; he knew that there was a good October 
road from Malpartida to Alcuesca, because he 
had himself passed it coming from Caceres ; and 
yet he halted at Aroyo de Molino without 
necessity, and without sending out even a patrole 
upon his flank, thus sacrificing two thousand 
brave men. Napoleon's clemency was therefore 
great, and yet not misplaced, for Girard, after- 
wards, repaid it by his devotion at the battle of 
Lutzen when the emperor's star was on the wane. 
On the other hand general Hill neglected no pre- 
caution, let no advantage escape ; and to good 
arrangements added celerity of movement, with the 
utmost firmness and vigour of execution. His 
troops seconded him as he merited ; and here was 
made manifest the advantage of possessing the 
friendship of a people so strongly influenced by 
the instincts of revenge as the Peninsulars ; for, 
during the night of the 27th, every Spaniard in 
Aroya, as well as in Alcuesca, knew that the allies 
were at hand, and not one was found so base or so 
indiscreet as to betray the fact. 

This blow being struck, Hill returned to his old 
quarters, and the Spanish troops fell back behind 
the Salor, but the report of Girard's disaster set all 
the French corps in motion. Drouet re-occupied 
Caceres with a thousand men ; Foy passed the Tagus 
at Almaraz on the 15th of November, and moved to 
Truxillo ; a convoy entered Badajos from Zafra on 
the 12th, a second on the 20th, and Soult, while 
collecting troops in Seville, directed Phillipon to 
plant all the ground under the guns at Badajos 
with potatoes and corn. Every thing seemed to 


book indicate a powerful attack upon Hill, when a serious 


- disturbance amongst the Polish troops, at Ron- 
NoV quiU ? obliged Soult to detach men from Seville 
to quell it. When that was effected, a division of 

Mi Stuart's ^ 

papers, four thousand entered Estremaclura, and Drouet, 


whose corps was thus raised to fourteen thou- 
sand infantry and three thousand cavalry, on the 
5th of December advanced to Almendralejos, and 
the 18th his advanced guard occupied Merida. 
At the same time Marmont concentrated part of 
his army at Toledo, from whence Montbrun, as we 
have seen, was directed to aid Suchet at Valencia, 
and Soult with the same view sent ten thousand 
men to the Despefios Peros. 

Drouet's movements were, however, again stop- 
ped by some insubordination in the fifth corps. 
And as it was now known that Soult's principal 
object was to destroy Ballesteros, and take Ta- 
rifa, Hill again advanced, partly to protect Mo- 
rillo from Drouet, partly to save the resources 
of Estremadura, partly to make a diversion in 
favour of Ballesteros and Tarifa, and in some sort 
also for Valencia. With this view he entered 
Estremadura by Albuquerque on the 27th of 
December, and having received information that 
the French, untaught by their former misfor- 
tunes were not vigilant, he made a forced march 
in hopes to surprise them. On the 28th he 
passed Villar del Rey and San Vincente and 
reached Nava de Membrillos, where he fell in with 
three hundred French infantry, and a few hussars, 
part of a foraging party, the remainder of which 
was at a village two leagues distant. A patrole 
gave an alarm, the French retreated towards Me- 
Tida, and were closely followed by four hundred 


of the allied cavalry, who had orders to make every chap. 

effort to stop their march ; but to use the words 
of general Hill, " the intrepid and admirable man- p^ 1 ' 
ner in which the enemy retreated, the infantry 
formed in square, and favoured as he was by the 
nature of the country of which he knew how to 
take the fullest advantage, prevented the cavalry 
alone from effecting any thing against him." Cap- 
tain Neveux, the able officer who commanded on 
this occasion, reached Merida with a loss of only 
forty men, all killed or wounded by the fire of 
the artillery ; but the French at Merida imme- 
diately abandoned their unfinished works, and eva- 
cuated that town in the night, leaving behind some 
bread and a quantity of wheat. 

From Merida, Hill, intending to fight Drouet, 1812. 
marched on the 1st of January to Almendralejos, 
where he captured another field store ; but the 
French general, whose troops were scattered, fell 
back towards Zafra ; the weather was so bad, 
and the roads so deep, that general Hill with the 
main body halted while colonel Abercrombie with 
a detachment of Portuguese and German cavalry 
followed the enemy's rear-guard. Meanwhile Phil- 
lipon, who never lost an advantage, sent, either the 
detachment which had escorted the convoy to 
Badajos, or some Polish troops with whom he was 
discontented, down the Portuguese frontier on the 
right of the Guadiana, by Moura, Mourao, and 
Serpe, with orders to drive the herds of cattle from 
those places into the sierra Morena. 

Abercrombie reached Fuente del Maestro, on the 
evening of the 3d, where, meeting with a stout squa- 
dron of the enemy, a stiff charge took place, and 
the French out-numbered and flanked on both sides 


eook were overthrown with a loss of thirty men. But 

Drouet was now in full retreat for Monasterio, 

January. an d Morillo moving upon Medellin, took post at 
San Benito. Thus the allies remained masters of 
Estremadura until the 13th of January, when Mar- 
mont's divisions moved by the valley of the Tagus 
towards the eastern frontier of Portugal ; Hill then 
returned to Portalegre and sent a division over the 
Tagus to Castello Branco. Drouet immediately re- 
turned to Llerena and his cavalry supported by a 
detachment of infantry marched against Morillo, 
but that general, instead of falling back when Hill 
did, had made a sudden incursion to La Mancha, 
and was then attacking the castle of Almagro. 
There, however, he was so completely defeated by 
general Treillard that, flying to Horcajo in the 
Guadaloupe mountains, although he reached it on 
the 18th, his fugitives were still coming in on the 
21st, and his army remained for a long time in the 
greatest disorder. 




While the events, recorded in the foregoing chap 

chapter, were passing in Estremadura, the south 

of Andalusia was the scene of more important Nov * 

operations. Soult, persisting in his design against 

Tarifa, had given orders to assemble a battering 

train, and directed general Laval with a strong 

division of the 4th corps to move from Antequera 

upon San Roque. Skerrett was then menacing the 

communications of general Semele on the side of 

Vejer de Frontera, and Ballesteros had obtained 

some success against that general at Bornos on the 

5th of November ; but Skerrett finding that Copons 

instead of four thousand had only brought seven 

hundred men, returned to Tarifa on the approach 

of some French from Conil. 

Semele, being thus reinforced, obliged Bal- 
lesteros, on the 27th, again to take refuge under the 
walls of Gibraltar, which he reached just in time, 
to avoid a collision with Laval's column from Ante- 
quera. Semele's troops did not follow very close, 
and a combined attack upon Laval by the divi- 
sions of Ballesteros, Skerrett, and Copons, was 
projected. The two latter with a part of the troops 
under Ballesteros, were actually embarked on the 
29th of November for the purpose of landing at 
Manilba, in pursuance of this scheme, when Se- 
mele's column came in sight, and Skerrett and 
Copons instantly returned to Tarifa. 

Ballesteros remained at Gibraltar, a heavy 



book burthen upon that fortress, and his own troops 

without shelter from the winter rain, wherefore 

general Campbell proposed to send them, in Bri- 
tish vessels, to renew the attempt against Malaga, 
which had formerly failed under Lord Blayney. 
On the 12th of January, at the very moment of 
embarking, the French retired from before Gi- 
braltar, by the Puerto de Ojen, a grand pass con- 
necting the plains of Gibraltar and the vallies of 
the Guadaranque, with the great and rich plain 
called the Campina de Tarifa ; and with the gorge 
of Los Pedragosos, which is the eastern entrance 
to the pastures called the Vega de Tarifa. This 
movement was preparatory to the siege of Tarifa ; 
and as the battering train was already within five 
leagues of that place, Skerrett proposed to seize it by 
a combined operation from Cadiz, Tarifa, Gibraltar, 
and Los Barios, where Ballesteros had now taken post. 
This combination was however on too wide a scale 
to be adopted in all its parts ; Ballesteros indeed fell 
on the enemy by surprise at the pass of Ojen, and 
Skerrett and Copons received orders from general 
Campbell to take advantage of this diversion ; but 
the former, seeing that his own plan was not 
adopted to its full extent, would not stir, and the 
Spaniards after a skirmish of six hours retired. 
Laval then left fifteen hundred men to observe 
Ballesteros, and placing a detachment at Vejes to 
cover his right flank, threaded Los Pedragosos and 
advanced against Tarifa. 

This town was scarcely expected by the French to 
make any resistance. It was encircled with towers, 
which were connected by an ancient archery wall, 
irregular in form without a ditch, and so thin as to 
offer no resistance even to field artillery. To the 
north and east, some high ridges flanked, and seemed 


entirely to command the weak rampart ; but the En- chap. 

glish engineer had observed that the nearest ridges . 

formed, at half pistol-shot, a natural glacis, the plane j^' 
of which, one point excepted, intersected the crest of 
the parapet with great nicety ; and to this advan- 
tage was added a greater number of towers, better 
flanks, and more powerful resources for an interior 
defence. He judged therefore that the seemingly 
favourable nature of the ridges combined with other 
circumstances, would scarcely fail to tempt the 
enemy to commence their trenches on that side. 
With a view to render the delusion unavoidable, 
he strengthened the western front of the place, 
rendered the access to it uneasy, by demolishing 
the main walls and removing the flooring of an 
isolated suburb on the north west ; and an out-work, 
of a convent which was situated about a hundred 
yards from the place, and to the east of the suburb. 
This done, he prepared an internal defence, which 
rendered the storming of the breach the smallest 
difficulty to be encountered ; but to appreciate his 
design the local peculiarities must be described. 

Tarifa was cloven in two by the bed of a pe- 
riodical torrent which entering at the east, passed 
out at the opposite point. This stream was barred, 
at its entrance, by a tower with a portcullis, in 
front of which pallisades were planted across the 
bed of the water. The houses within the walls were 
strongly built and occupied inclined planes rising 
from each side of the torrent, and at the exit of the 
latter there were two massive structures, forming 
part of the walls called the tower and castle of 
the Gusmans, both of which looked up the hollow 
formed by the meeting of the inclined planes at the 
stream. From these structures, first a sandy neck 



book of land, and then a causeway, the whole being about 
. six hundred yards long, joined the town to an island, 
or rather promontory, about two thousand yards in 
circumference, with perpendicular sides, which for- 
bade any entrance save by the causeway ; and at 
the island end of the latter there was an unfinished 
entrenchment and battery. 

On the connecting neck of land were some sand 
hills, the highest of which, called the Catalina, 
was scarped and crowned with a slight field work, 
containing a twelve-pounder. This hill covered 
the causeway, and in conjunction with the tower of 
the Gusmans, which was armed with a ship eighteen- 
pounder, flanked the western front, and commanded 
all the ground between the walls and the island. 
The gun in the tower of the Gusmans also shot 
clear over the town on to the slope where the 
French batteries were expected to be raised ; and 
in addition to these posts, the stately ship of the 
line, the Druid frigate, and several gun and mortar- 
boats were anchored in the most favourable situation 
for flanking the enemy's approaches. 

Reverting then to the head of the defence, it 
will be seen, that while the ridges on the eastern 
fronts, and the hollow bed of the torrent, which 
offered cover for troops moving to the assault, 
deceitfully tempted the enemy to that side ; the 
flanking fire of the convent, the ruins of the suburb, 
the hill of the Catalina, and the appearance of the 
shipping deterred them even from examining the 
western side, and as it were, forcibly urged them 
towards the eastern ridge where the English en- 
gineer wished to find them. There he had even 
marked their ground, and indicated the situa- 
tion of the breach ; that is to say, close to the 


entrance of the torrent, where the hollow meeting chap. 

of the inclined planes rendered the inner depth of ! — 

the walls far greater than the outer depth; where ^^J* 
he had loop-holed the houses, opened commu- 
nications to the rear, barricaded the streets, and 
accumulated obstacles. The enemy after forcing 
the breach would thus have been confined between 
the houses on the inclined planes, exposed on each 
side to the musketry from the loop-holes and win- 
dows, and in front to the fire of the tower of the 
Gusmans, which looked up the bed of the torrent. 
Thus disputing every inch of ground, the garrison 
could at worst have reached the castle and tower 
of the Gusmans, which being high and massive 
were fitted for rearguards to cover the evacuation 
of the place, and were provided with ladders for 
the troops to descend and retreat to the island 
under cover of the Catalina. 

The artillery available for the defence appeared 
very powerful, for besides that of the shipping, 
and the guns in the Catalina, there were in the 
island twelve pieces, comprising four twenty-four- 
pounders, and two ten-inch mortars ; and in the 
town there were six field-pieces and four coehorns 
on the east front. An eighteen-pounder was on the 
Gusmans, a howitzer on the portcullis tower, and 
two field-pieces were kept behind the town in re- 
serve for sallies ; but most of the artillery in the 
island was mounted after the investment, so that 
two twenty -four-pounders and two mortars only, 
could take part in the defence of the town ; and 
as the walls and towers of the latter were too weak 
and narrow to sustain heavy guns, only three field 
pieces and the coehorns did in fact reply to the 
enemy's fire. 





The garrison, including six hundred Spanish 
infantry and one hundred horse of that nation, 
amounted to two thousand five hundred men, and 
was posted in the following manner. Seven hun- 
dred were in the island, one hundred in the Cata- 
lina, two hundred in the convent, and fifteen hun- 
dred in the town. 

On the 19th of December the enemy having 
driven in the advanced posts, were encountered 
with a sharp skirmish, and designedly led towards 
the eastern front. 

The 20th the place was invested, but on the 
21st a picquet of French troops having incautiously 
advanced towards the western front, captain Wren 
of the eleventh suddenly descended from the Ca- 
talina and carried them off. In the night the 
enemy approached close to the walls, but the next 
morning captain Wren again came down from the 
Catalina, and, at the same time, the troops sallied 
from the convent, with a view to discover the 
position of the French advanced posts. So daring 
was this sally that Mr. Welstead of the eighty- 
second actually pushed into one of their camps and 
captured a field-piece there ; and although he was 
unable to bring it off, in face of the French re- 
serves, the latter were drawn by the skirmish under 
the fire of the ships, of the island, and of the 
town, whereby they suffered severely and could 
with difficulty recover the captured piece of ar- 
tillery from under the guns of the north-east tower. 

In the night of the 22d the anticipations of the 
British engineer were realized. The enemy broke 


ground in two places, five hundred yards from the chap. 


eastern front, and assiduously pushed forward their 
approaches until the 26th; but always under a ^^ 
destructive fire, to which they replied with mus- 
ketry, and with their wall-pieces, which killed 
several men, and would have been very dangerous, 
but for the sand-bags which captain Nicholas, the 
chief engineer at Cadiz, had copiously supplied. 
This advantage was however counterbalanced by 
the absence of the ships which were all driven 
away in a gale on the 23rd. 

On the 27th the French battering-train arrived, 
and on the 29th the sixteen-pounders opened against 
the town, and the howitzers against the island. 
These last did little damage beyond dismounting 
the gun in the tower of the Gusmans, which was 
however quickly re-established ; but the sixteen- 
pounders brought the old wall down in such 
flakes, that in a few hours a wide breach was 
effected, a little to the left of the portcullis tower, 
looking from the camp. 

The place was now exposed both to assault and 
escalade, but behind the breach the depth to the 
street was above fourteen feet, the space below was 
covered with iron window-gratings, having every 
second bar turned up, the houses there, and be- 
hind all points liable to escalade, were completely 
prepared and garrisoned, and the troops were dis- 
persed all round the ramparts, each regiment having 
its own quarter assigned. The Spanish and forty- 
seventh British regiment guarded the breach, and 
on their right some riflemen prolonged the line. 
The eighty-seventh regiment occupied the port- 
cullis tow r er and extended along the rampart to 
the left. 


book In the night of the 29th the enemy fired salvos 

of grape on the breach, but the besieged cleared 
Dec.' the foot of it between the discharges. 

The 30th the breaching fire was renewed, the wall 
was broken for sixty feet, and the whole breach 
offered an easy ascent, yet the besieged again 
cleared away the rubbish, and in the night were 
fast augmenting the defences behind, when a heavy 
rain rilled the bed of the river, and the torrent 
bringing down, from the French camp, planks, 
fascines, gabions, and dead bodies, broke the pali- 
sades with a shock, bent the portcullis backward, 
and with the surge of the waters even injured 
the defences behind the breach : a new passage 
was thus opened in the wall, yet such was the 
vigour of the besieged, that the damage was re- 
paired before the morning, and the troops calmly 
and confidently awaited 


The waters subsided in the night as quickly as 
they had risen, but at daylight a living stream 
of French grenadiers glided swiftly down the bed 
of the river, and as if assured of victory, arrived, 
without shout or tumult, within a few yards of the 
walls, when, instead of quitting the hollow, to 
reach the breach, they, like the torrent of the night, 
continued their rapid course and dashed against the 
portcullis. The British soldiers, who had hitherto 
been silent and observant, as if at a spectacle 
which they were expected to applaud, now arose, 
and with a crashing volley smote the head of the 
French column ! The leading officer, covered with 



wounds, fell against the portcullis and gave up his chap 
sword through the bars to colonel Gough ; the 

French drummer, a gallant boy, who was beating Dec 
the charge, dropped lifeless by his officer's side, 
and the dead and wounded filled the hollow. The 
remainder of the assailants then breaking out to the 
right and left, spread along the slopes of ground 
under the ramparts and opened a quick irregular 
musketry. At the same time, a number of men 
coming out of the trenches, leaped into pits digged 
in front, and shot fast at the garrison, but no esca- 
lade or diversion at the other points was made, and 
the storming column was dreadfully shattered. 
For the ramparts streamed forth fire, and from the 
north-eastern tower a field-piece, held in reserve 
expressly for the occasion, sent, at pistol-shot 
distance, a tempest of grape whistling through 
the French masses, which were swept away in 
such a dreadful manner, that they could no longer 
endure the destruction, but plunging once more 
into the hollow returned to their camp, while 
a shout of victory, mingled with the sound of 
musical instruments, passed round the wall of the 

In this combat the allies lost five officers and 
thirty- one men, but the French dead covered all 
the slopes in front of the rampart, and choked the 
bed of the river, and ten wounded officers, of whom 
only one survived, were brought in by the breach. 
Skerrett, compassionating their sufferings and ad- 
miring their bravery, permitted Laval to fetch off 
the remainder ; and the operations of the siege were 
then suspended, for both sides suffered severely 
from the weather. The rain partially ruined the 
French batteries, interrupted their communications, 

vol. iv. z 


rook and stopped their supplies; on the other hand 

xv ' the torrent, again swelling, broke the stockades of 

T 1812> the allies and injured their retrenchments, and some 

January. ° , . , 

vessels, coming from Gibraltar with ammunition, 
were wrecked on the coast. Nevertheless a fresh 
assault was hourly expected until the night of the 
4th, when, several cannon-shots being heard in 
the French camp, without any bullets reaching the 
town, it was judged that the enemy were destroying 
the guns previous to retreating. Soon afterwards 
large fires were observed, and at daylight the troops 
issuing out of the convent, drove the enemy from 
the batteries, and commenced a skirmish with the 
rear-guard ; but a heavy storm impeded the action ; 
the French conducted their retreat skilfully, and the 
British, after making a few prisoners, relinquished 
the pursuit. Nevertheless Laval's misfortunes did 
not end here. The privations his troops had endured 
in the trenches produced sickness ; many men de- 
serted, and it was computed, at the time, that the 
General expedition cost the French not less than a thou- 
cCes b pon! sand men, while the whole loss of the allies did not 
mss.' exceed one hundred and fifty. 

Such is the simple tale of Tarifa, but the true 
history of its defence cannot there be found. To hide 
the errors of the dead is not always a virtue, and 
when it involves injustice to the living it becomes 
a crime ; colonel Skerrett has obtained the credit, 
but he was not the author of the success at Tarifa. 
He, and lord Proby, the second in command, were 
from the first impressed with a notion, that the 
place could not be defended and ought to be 
abandoned ; all their proceedings tended to that 
end, and they would even have abandoned the 
island. At colonel Skerrett's express desire general 


Cooke had recalled him on the 18th, that is to say, chap. 
the day before the siege commenced ; and during 

its progress he neither evinced hopes of final sue- j^^ 
cess, nor made exertions to obtain it ; in some in- 
stances he even took measures tending directly Abends*, 
towards failure. To whom then was England Section's, 
indebted for this splendid achievement ? The merit 
of the conception is undoubtedly due to general 
Campbell, the lieutenant-governor of Gibraltar, 
He first occupied Tarifa, and he also engaged the 
Spaniards to admit an English garrison into 
Ceuta, that the navigation of the straits and the 
coasting trade might be secured ; for he was the 
only authority in the south of the Peninsula 
who appeared to understand the true value of 
those points. Finally, it was his imperious and 
even menacing orders, which prevented colonel 
Skerrett from abandoning Tarifa before the siege 

General Campbell's resolution is the more to be 
admired, because Tarifa was, strictly speaking, not 
within his command, which did not extend beyond 
the walls of his own fortress; and he had also to con- 
tend against general Cooke, who claimed the controul 
of a garrison which was chiefly composed of troops 
from Cadiz. He acted also contrary to the opinion 
of lord Wellington, who, always averse to any serious 
co-operation with the Spaniards, as well knowing the 
latter would inevitably fail, and throw the burthen 
on the British in the hour of need, was in this in- 
stance more strongly influenced, because the reports 
of general Cooke, founded on colonel Skerrett's 
and lord Proby's representations, reprobated the 
defence of Tarifa. Thus misinformed of the real 
resources, and having no local knowledge of the 

z 2 


book place, lord Wellington judged, that the island only 

. '. — could be held — that Skerrett's detachment was not 

January wantm g f° r that purpose — and that without the 
island the enemy could not keep possession of Tarifa. 
Appendix, Were they even to take both, he thought they could 
section 5. not retain them, while Ballesteros was in strength 
and succoured from Gibraltar, unless they also 
kept a strong force in those parts ; finally, that the 
defence of the island was the least costly and the 
most certain. However, with that prudence, which 
always marked his proceedings, although he gave 
his opinion, he would not interfere from a distance, 
in a matter which could only be accurately judged 
of on the spot. 

But the island had not a single house, and was 
defenceless ; the rain alone, without reckoning the 
effects of the enemy's shells, would have gone near 
to force the troops away ; and as the shipping could 
not always remain in the road-stead, the building of 
casemates and barracks, and storehouses for pro- 
visions and ammunition, would have been more 
expensive than the defence of the town. Tarifa 
was therefore an out-work to the island, and one 
so capable of a good defence that a much more 
powerful attack had been expected, and a more 
powerful resistance prepared by the English engi- 
neer ; a defence not resting on the valour of the 
troops alone, but upon a skilful calculation of all 
the real resources, and all the chances. 

That the value of the object was worth the 

risk may be gathered from this, that Soult, three 

T months after the siege, thus expressed himself, 

cepted de- u ^he taking of Tarifa will be more hurtful to the 

spatches, ° 

\ 7 &T2 4pri1 ' English and to the defenders of Cadiz, than the 
taking of Alicant or even Badajos, where I cannot 


go without first securing my left and taking Tarifa." chap. 

And, besides the advantages already noticed as ! — 

belonging to the possession of this place, it was j^ 8 ^ 
close to Ceuta where there were a few British 
soldiers, but many French prisoners, and above two 
thousand discontented Spanish troops and galley- 
slaves ; Ceuta, which was so neglected by the General 
Spanish regency that a French general, a prisoner, p*™^ 11 '' 
did not hesitate to propose to the governor to give MSS * 
it up to Soult as his only means of avoiding 
starvation. Neither would Soult have failed to 
strengthen himself at Tarifa in despite of Balles- 
teros, were it onlv to command the supplies of the A Pp* ndi *> 

. . No. VI. 

Campiiia, and those from Barbary which could 
but be brought to that port or to Conil : the 
latter was however seldom frequented by the Moors, 
because the run was long and precarious, whereas 
a favourable current always brought their craft 
well to Tarifa. Swarms of French gun-boats 
would therefore soon have given Soult the com- 
mand of the coasting trade, if not of the entire 

Tarifa then was worth the efforts made for its 
defence ; and setting aside the courage and devo- 
tion of the troops, without which nothing could 
have been effected, the merit chiefly appertains to 
sir Charles Smith, the captain of engineers. That 
officer's vigour and capacity overmatched the 
enemy's strength without, and the weakness and 
cajolement of those who did not wish to defend it 
within. Skerrett could not measure a talent above 
his own mark, and though he yielded to Smith's 
energy, he did so with avowed reluctance, and 
dashed it with some wild actions, for which it is 
difficult to assign a motive ; because he was not a 


book dull man, and he was a brave man, as his death at 

Bergem-op-Zoon proved. But his military capa- 


h city was naught, and his mind did not easily catch 
another's enthusiasm. Tarifa was the commentary 
upon Taragona. 

During the siege, the engineer's works in front 
were constantly impeded by colonel Skerrett; he 
would call off the labourers to prepare posts of 
retreat, and Smith's desire to open the north-gate, 
(which had been built up,) that the troops might 
have egress in case of escalade, was opposed by him, 
although there was no other point for the garrison 
to sally, save by the sea-gate which was near the 
castle. On the 29th of December a shell, fired 
from the eighteen-pounder in the tower of the 
Gusmans, having bursted too soon, killed or, wounded one of the inhabitants, and a deputation 
Section's, of the citizens came to complain of the accident; 
Colonel Skerrett, although the breach was then 
open, immediately ordered that gun, and a thirty- 
two-pound caronade, which at four hundred yards 
looked into the French batteries, to be dismounted 
and spiked ! and it was done ! To crown this 
absurd conduct, he assigned the charge of the 
breach entirely to the Spanish troops, and if Smith 
had not insisted upon posting the forty-seventh 
British regiment along-side of them, this alone 
would have ruined the defence ; because hunger, 
nakedness, and neglect, had broken the spirit of 
those poor men, and during the combat general 
Copons alone displayed the qualities of a gallant 

To the British engineer, therefore, the praise of 
this splendid action is chiefly due ; because he saw 
from the first all the resources of the place, and 



with equal firmness and talent developed them, chap. 

notwithstanding the opposition of his superiors ; 

because at the same time he, by skilful impo- j anuary 
sitions, induced the enemy (whose attack should 
have embraced the suburbs and the north-west 
salient angle of the place) to open his trenches 
on the east, where the besieged, under the ap- 
pearance of weakness, had concentrated all their 
strength; finally, because he repressed despondency 
where he failed to infuse confidence. The second 
in merit was captain Mitchell, of the artillery ; 
because in the management of that arm for the 
defence of the town, his talent, and enterprise 
were conspicuous, especially during the assault ; 
nor can the result of this last event be taken as the 
just measure of either officer's merits, seeing that a 
prolonged siege and a more skilful and powerful 
attack was expected. In the enemy's camp was 
found the French engineer's sketch for a re- 
newed operation by a cautious and extensive sys- 
tem of mines and breaches ; but nothing was there 
laid down that had not been already anticipated, 
and provided against by his British opponents. 
If then the defence of Tarifa was a great and 
splendid exploit, and none can doubt that it was, 
those who conceived, planned, and executed it 
should have all the glory. Amongst those persons 
colonel Skerrett has no right to be placed ; yet, 
such are the errors of power, that he was highly 
applauded for what he did not do, and general 
Campbell was severely rebuked by lord Liverpool 
for having risked his Majesty's troops ! 

The French displayed courage but no skill. For 
two days, their heavy howitzers had been directed 
vaguely against the interior of the town, and the 


book distant island, whither the unfortunate people fled 

from their shattered and burning houses. A por- 

Januavy. ^ lon °f the shells thus thrown away in cruelty would 
have levelled the north-east tower with the ground, 
and the French were aware of its importance ; 
but throughout the siege their operations were mas- 
tered by the superior ability of the engineer and 
artillery officers opposed to them. 

In the expectation that a more powerful attack 
would be made in the spring, general Campbell 
directed casemates and splinter proofs to be made 
in the island, but Skerrett's troops were recalled to 
Cadiz, which now contained nearly eight thousand 
British, exclusive of fifteen hundred of these des- 
tined for Carthagena and Alicant. This arrange- 
ment was however soon changed, because the events 
of the war put Carthagena out of the French line 
of operations, and the pestilence there caused the 
removal of the British troops. Neither was Tarifa 
again attacked ; lord Wellington had predicted that 
it would not, and on sure grounds, for he was then 
contemplating a series of operations, which were 
calculated to change the state of the war, and which 
shall be set forth in the next book. 



Up to this period, the invasion, although diver- chap 

sified by occasional disasters on the part of the L_ 

invaders, had been progressive. The tide, some- 1811 ' 
times flowing, sometimes ebbing, had still gained 
upon the land, and wherever the Spaniards had 
arrested its progress, it was England that urged 
their labour and renovated their tired strength ; 
no firm barrier, no solid dike, had been opposed to 
its ravages, save by the British general in Portugal, 
and even there the foundation of his work, sapped 
by the trickling waters of folly and intrigue, was 
sliding away. By what a surprising effort of 
courage and judgment he secured it shall now be 
shown ; and as the field operations, in this war, 
were always influenced more by political consi- 
derations, than by military principles, it will be 
necessary first to place the general's situation with 
respect to the former in its true light. 

Political situation of king Joseph. France, 
abounding in riches and power, was absolute mis- 
tress of Europe from the Pyrennees to the Vistula ; 
but Napoleon, resolute to perfect his continental 
system for the exclusion of British goods, now 
found himself, in the pursuit of that object, hasten- 


book ing rapidly to a new war, and one so vast, that even 
— his force was strained to meet it. The Peninsula 

1 ' already felt relief from this cause. The dread of 
his arrival ceased to influence the operations of the 
allied army in Portugal, many able French officers 
were recalled, and as it was known that the im- 
perial guards, and the Polish troops, were to with- 
draw from Spain, the scale of offensive projects 
was necessarily contracted. Conscripts and young 
soldiers instead of veterans, and in diminished 
numbers, were now to be expected ; and in the 
French army there was a general, and oppressive 
sense, of the enormous exertion which would be 
required to bring two such mighty wars to a happy 
conclusion. On the other hand, the Peninsulars 
were cheered by seeing so powerful a monarch, as 
the czar, rise in opposition to Napoleon, and the 
English general found the principal basis of his 
calculations realized by this diversion. He had 
never yet been strong enough to meet eighty thou- 
sand French troops in battle, even under a common 
general ; but his hopes rose when he saw the great 
warrior of the age, not only turning himself from 
the contest, but withdrawing from it a reserve of 
four hundred thousand veterans, whose might the 
whole world seemed hardly able to withstand. 

The most immediate effect, however, which the 
approaching contest with Russia produced in the 
Peninsula, was the necessity of restoring Joseph to 
his former power over the French armies. While 
the emperor was absent from Paris, the supreme 
controul of the operations could only be placed in 
the hands of the monarch of Spain ; yet this was 
only to reproduce there, and with greater virulence, 
the former jealousies and disputes. Joseph's 


Spanish policy remained unchanged ; the pride of chap. 

the French generals was at least equal to his, pre 

texts for disputes were never wanting on either 
side, and the mischievous nature of those disputes 
may be gathered from one example. In November 
the king being pressed for money, sold the maga- 
zines of corn collected near Toledo, for the army of 
Portugal, and without which the latter could not 
exist ; Marmont, regardless of the political scandal, 
immediately sent troops to recover the magazines by 
force, and desired the purchasers to reclaim their 
money from the monarch. 

Political state of Spain. All the intrigues and 
corruptions and conflicting interests before de- 
scribed had increased in violence. The negotiations 
for the mediation of England with the colonies, 
were not ended ; Carlotta still pressed her claims ; 
and the division between the liberals and serviles, 
as they were called, became daily wider. Cadiz 
was in 1811 the very focus of all disorder. The 
government was alike weak and dishonest, and 
used many pitiful arts to extract money from Eng- 
land. No subterfuge was too mean. When Blake 
was going with the fourth army to Estremadura, 
previous to the battle of Albuera, the* minister 
Bardaxi entreated the British envoy to grant a loan, 
or a gift, without which, he asserted, Blake could 
not move ; Mr. Wellesley refused, because a large 
debt was already due to the legation, and the next 
morning a Spanish ship of war from America landed 
a million and a half of dollars ! 

In July, notwithstanding the victory of Albuera, 
the regency was held in universal contempt, both 
it and the cortes were without influence, and their 
conduct merited it. For although vast sums were 


book continually received, and every service was famished, 


_ the treasury was declared empty, and there was no 
i8ii. probability of any further remittances from Ame- 
rica. The temper of the public was soured to- 
wards England, the press openly assailed the 
British character, and all things so evidently 
tended towards anarchy, that Mr. Wellesley de- 
clared " Spanish affairs to be then worse than they 
had been at any previous period of the war." 

The cortes, at first swayed by priests and law- 
yers, who cherished the inquisition and were op- 
posed to all free institutions, was now chiefly led 
by a liberal or rather democratic party, averse to 
the British influence ; hence, in August a new con- 
stitution, quite opposed to the aristocratic principle, 
was promulgated. With the excellencies and defects 
of that instrument the present History has indeed 
little concern, but the results were not in accord 
with the spirit of the contrivance, and the evils 
affecting the war were rather increased by it ; the 
democratic basis of the new constitution excited 
many and bitter enemies, and the time and atten- 
tion, which should have been bestowed upon the 
amelioration of the soldiers' condition, was occupied 
in factions, disputes, and corrupt intrigues. 

That many sound abstract principles of govern- 
ment were clearly and vigorously laid down in the 
scheme of this constitution, cannot be denied, the 
complicated oppressions of the feudal system were 
swept away with a bold and just hand; but of what 
avail, as regarded the war, was the enunciation of 
principles which were never attempted to be re- 
duced to practice ? What encouragement was it to 
the soldier, to be told he was a free man, fighting for 
a constitution as well as for national independence, 


when he saw the authors of that constitution, cor- chap. 
ruptly revelling in the wealth which should have \ 

clothed, and armed, and fed him? What was 1811 
nominal equality to him, when he saw incapacity A PP endi 
rewarded, crimes and treachery unpunished in the 
rich, the poor and patriotic oppressed ? He 
laughed to scorn those who could find time to 
form the constitution of a great empire, but could 
not find time or honesty to feed, or clothe, or arm 
the men who were to defend it ! 

The enemies of democracy soon spread many 
grievous reports of misfortunes and treachery, some 
true, some false ; and at the most critical period of 
the war in Valencia, they endeavoured to raise a 
popular commotion to sweep away the cortes. The 
monks and friars, furious at the suppression of the 
inquisition, were the chief plotters every where ; 
and the proceedings of Palacios, in concert with 
them, were only part of a church project, com- 
menced all over Spain to resist the cortes. In 
October, Lardizabal, the other deposed regent, 
published at Alicant, a manifesto, in which he ac- 
cused the cortes and the Cadiz writers of jaco- 
binism, maintained the doctrine of passive obedience, 
and asserted, that the regents only took the oath to 
the cortes, because they could not count on the 
army or the people at Cadiz; otherwise they would 
cause the king's authority to be respected in their 
persons as his only legitimate representatives. This 
manifesto was declared treasonable, and a vessel 
was despatched to bring the offender to Cadiz ; but 
the following day it was discovered, that the old 
council of Castile had also drawn up a manifesto 
similar in principle, and the persons sent by the 
cortes to seize the paper were told that it was 



book destroyed. The protest of three members against 
it was however found, and five lawyers were se- 
lected from the cortes to try the guilty councillors 
and Lardizabal. 

In November the public cry for a new regency 
became general, and it was backed by the English 
plenipotentiary. Nevertheless the matter was de- 
ferred upon divers pretexts, and meanwhile the de- 
mocratic party gained strength in the cortes, and 
the anti-British feeling appeared more widely dif- 
fused than it really was ; because some time elapsed 
before the church and aristocratic party discovered 
that the secret policy of England was the same as 
their own. It was so, however, even to the uphold- 
ing of the inquisition, which it was ridiculously 
asserted had become objectionable only in name ; 
as if, while the frame-work of tyranny existed, 
there could ever be wanting the will to fill it up. 
Necessity alone induced the British cabinet to put 
on a smooth countenance towards the cortes. In 
this state of affairs, the negotiation for the colonial 
mediation, was used by the Spaniards merely as 
a ground for demanding loans, subsidies, and 
succours in kind, which they used in fitting out 
new expeditions against the revolted colonists ; the 
complaints of the British legation on this point were 
quite disregarded. At this time also Lapena was 
acquitted of misconduct at Barosa, and would have 
been immediately re-employed, if the English 
minister had not threatened to quit Cadiz, and 
advised general Cooke to do the same. 

Mr. Wellesley seeing that the most fatal con- 
sequences to the war must ensue, if a stop was not 
put to the misconduct of the regency, had sent Mr. 
Vaughan, the secretary of legation, to acquaint the 



British cabinet with the facts, and to solicit a more chap. 
firm and decided course of policy. Above all things 
he desired to have the subsidies settled by treaty, that 
the people of Spain might really know what England 
had done and was still doing for them ; for on every 
occasion, arms, clothing, ammunition, loans, pro- 
visions, guns, stores, and even workmen and funds, 
to form founderies, were demanded and obtained 
by the Spanish government, and then wasted or 
€>mbezzled, without the people benefiting, or even 
knowing of the generosity, or rather extravagance, 
with which they were supplied ; while the re- 
ceivers and wasters were heaping calumnies on the 

The regency question was at last seriously dis- 
cussed in the cortes, and the deputy, Capmany, 
who if we may believe the partizans of Joseph, was Joseph's 
anti-English in his heart, argued the necessity of Spared 
this change on the ground of pleasing the British. at 
This excited great discontent, as he probably in- 
tended, and many deputies declared at first that 
they would not be dictated to by any foreign power ; 
but the departure of Mr. Vaughan alarmed them, 
and a commission, formed to improve the mode of go- 
verning, was hastening the decision of the question, 
when Blake's disaster at Valencia completed the work. 
Carlotta's agent was active in her behalf, but the 
eloquent and honest Arguelles was opposed to him; 
and the cortes although they recognized her claim 
to the succession, denied her the regency, because 
of a previous decree which excluded all royal per- 
sonages from that office. 

On the 21st of January 1812, after a secret dis- 
cussion of twenty-four hours, a new regency, to 
consist of five members, of which two were Ame- 



book ricans, was proclaimed. The men chosen, were 
■ the duke of Infantado, then in England, Henry 
O'Donnel, admiral Villarvicencio, Joachim de 
Mosquera, and Ignacios de Ribas ; and each was 
to have the presidency by rotation for six months. 

They commenced beneficially. O'Donnel was 
friendly to the British alliance, and proposed a 
military feast, to restore harmony between the 
English and Spanish officers ; he made many 
changes in the department of war, and finances ; 
consulted the British generals, and disbanding 
several bad regiments, incorporated the men with 
other battalions ; he also reduced many inefficient 
and malignant colonels, and striking off from the 
pay lists all unemployed and absent officers, it was 
found, that they were five thousand in number ! 
Ballesteros was appointed captain-general of Anda- 
lusia and received the command of the fourth army, 
whose head-quarters were prudently removed to Al- 
geziras ; the troops there were encreased, by drafts 
from Cadiz to ten or twelve thousand men, and a 
new army was set on foot in Murcia. Finally, to 
check trading with the French a general blockade 
of all the coast in their possession, from Rosas to 
St. Sebastian, was declared. 

But it was soon discovered that the secret object 
was to obtain a loan from England, and as this 
did not succeed, and nothing good was ever per- 
manent in Spanish affairs, the old disputes again 
broke out. The democratic spirit gained strength 
in the cortes ; the anti-English party augmented; 
the press abounded in libels, impugning the good 
faith of the British nation, especially with respect 
to Ceuta; for which however there was some plausi- 
ble ground of suspicion, because the acquisition of 


that fortress had actually been proposed to lord chap. 
Liverpool. The new regency, also as violent as their 

predecessors with respect to America, disregarded 18U 
the mediation, and having secretly organized in 
Gallicia an expedition against the colonies, supplied 
it with artillery furnished from England for the 
French war, and then, under another pretence, de- 
manded money of the British minister to forward 
this iniquitous folly. 

Political state of Portugal. — -In October all the 
evils before described still existed, and were ag- 
gravated. The old disputes remained unsettled, 
the return of the royal family was put off, and 
the reforms in the military system, which Be- 
resford had repaired to Lisbon to effect, were 
either thwarted or retarded by the regency. 
Mr. Stuart indeed forced the government to repair 
the bridges and roads in Beira, to throw some pro- 
visions into the fortresses ; and, in despite of Re- 
dondo, the minister of finance, who, for the first 
time, now opposed the British influence, he made 
the regency substitute a military chest and com- 
missariat, instead of the " Junta de Viveres." But 
Forjas and Redondo then disputed for the custody 
of the new chest ; and when Mr. Stuart explained 
to the one, that, as the intent was to separate the 
money of the army from that of the civil depart- 
ments, his claims were incompatible with such an 
object ; and to the other that the conduct of his 
own department was already more than he could 
manage, both were offended ; and this new source 
of disorder was only partially closed by withhold- 
ing the subsidy until they yielded. 

Great malversations in the revenue were also 
VOL. iv. 2 A 



book discovered ; and a plan, to enforce an impartial 
exaction of the " decima," which was drawn up 
by Nogueira, at the desire of Wellington, was so 
ill received by those whose illegal exemptions it 
attacked, that the Souzas immediately placed them- 
selves at the head of the objectors out of doors. 
Nogueira then modified it, but the Souzas still 
opposed, and as Wellington, judging the modifica- 
tion to be an evasion of the principle, would not 
recede from the first plan, a permanent dispute and 
a permanent evil, were thus established by that 
pernicious faction. In fine, not the Souzas only, but 
the whole regency in their folly now imagined that 
the war was virtually decided in their favour, and 
were intent upon driving the British away by 
disgusting the general. 

A new quarrel also arose in the Brazils. Lord 
Wellington had been created conde de Vimiero, 
Beresford conde de Trancoso, Silveira conde d'Amu- 
rante ; and other minor rewards, of a like nature, 
had been conferred on subordinate officers. These 
honours had however been delayed in a marked 
manner, and lord Strangford, who appears to have 
been ruled entirely by the Souza faction, and was 
therefore opposed to Forjas, charged, or as he 
termed it, reported a charge, made against the 
latter, at the Brazils, for having culpably delayed 
the official return of the officers who were thus to 
be rewarded. Against this accusation, which had 
no foundation in fact, seeing that the report had 
been made, and that Forjas was not the person to 
whose department it belonged, lord Wellington and 
Mr. Stuart protested, because of the injustice ; and 
because it was made in pursuance of a design to 



remove Forjas from the government. The English chap. 
general was however thus placed in a strange posi- 
tion, for while his letters to Forjas were menacing 
rebukes to him, and his coadjutors, for their neglect 
of public affairs ; and while his formal complaints 
of the conduct of the regency were transmitted to 
the Brazils, he was also obliged to send other 
letters in support of the very persons whom he was 
justly rebuking for misconduct. 

In the midst of these embarrassments, an acci- 
dental event was like to have brought the question 
of the British remaining in Portugal to a very 
sudden decision. While Massena was before the 
lines, one d'Amblemont had appeared in North 
America, and given to Onis, the Spanish minister, 
a plan for burning the British fleet in the Tagus, 
which he pretended to have received orders from 
the French government to execute. This plan 
being transmitted to the Brazils, many persons 
named by d'Amblemont as implicated were, in con- 
sequence arrested at Lisbon and sent to Rio Janeiro, 
although Mr. Stuart had ascertained the whole 
affair to be a forgery. The attention paid to this 
man by Onis and by the court of Rio Janeiro, in- 
duced him to make farther trial of their credulity, 
and he then brought forward a correspondence 
between the principal authorities of Mexico and 
the French government ; he even produced letters 
from the French ministers, directing intrigues to 
be commenced at Lisbon, and the French interest 
there to be placed in the hands of the Portuguese 
intendant of police. 

Mr. Stuart, lamenting the ruin of many innocent 
persons, whom this forging villain was thus doom- 
ing, prayed lord Wellesley to interfere ; but mean- 

2a 2 




book while the court of Rio Janeiro, falling headlong 
- into the snare, sent orders to arrest more victims ; 
and amongst others, without assigning any cause, 
and without any communication with the English 
general, the regency seized one Borel, a clerk in 
the department of the British paymaster-general. 
This act being at once contrary to treaty, hostile 
to the alliance, and insulting in manner, raised 
lord Wellington's indignation to such a pitch, that 
he formally notified to the Portuguese government 
his resolution, unless good reasons were assigned 
and satisfaction made for the outrage, to order 
all persons attached to the British to place them- 
selves in security under the protection of the army, 
as if in a hostile country, until the further plea- 
sure of the British prince regent should be made 

The political storm which had been so long ga- 
thering then seemed ready to break, but suddenly 
the horizon cleared. Lord Wellington's letter to 
the prince, backed up by lord Wellesley's vigorous 
diplomacy, had at last alarmed the court of Rio 
Janeiro, and in the very crisis of Borel's case came 
letters, in which the prince regent admitted, and 
approved of all the ameliorations and changes pro- 
posed by the English general ; and the contradiction 
given by Mr. Stuart to the calumnies of the Souza 
faction, was taken as the ground for a complete 
and formal retraction, by Linhares, of his former 
insinuations, and insulting note relative to that 
gentleman's conduct. Principal Souza was however 
not dismissed, nor was Forjas' resignation noticed, 
but the prince declared that he would overlook that 
minister's disobedience, and retain him in office ; 
thus proving that fear, not conviction, or justice, 


for Forjas had not been disobedient, was the true chap. 

cause of this seeming return to friendly relations ! — 

with the British. O^. 

Mr. Stuart considering the submission of the 
prince to be a mere nominal concession of power 
which was yet to be ripened into real authority, 
looked for further difficulties, and he was not mis- 
taken : meanwhile he made it a point of honour 
to defend Forjas, and Nogueira, from the secret 
vengeance of the opposite faction. The present 
submission of the court however gave the British 
an imposing influence, which rendered the Souzas' 
opposition nugatory for the moment. Borel was 
released and excuses were made for his arrest ; the 
formation of a military chest was pushed with 
vigour; the paper money was raised in value; the 
revenue was somewhat increased, and Beresford 
was enabled to make progress in the restoration of 
the army. The prince had however directed the 
regency to revive his claim to Olivenza imme- 
diately ; and it was with difficulty that lord 
Wellington could stifle this absurd proceeding; 
neither did the forced harmony last, for the old 
abuses affecting the civil administration of the army 
rather increased, as will be shewn in the narra- 
tion of military operations which are now to be 
treated of. 

It will be remembered that after the action of El 
Bodon, the allied army was extensively cantoned 
on both sides of the Coa. Ciudad Rodrigo was 
distantly observed by the British, and so closely by 
Julian Sanchez, that on the 15th he carried off 
more than two hundred oxen from under the guns 
of the place, and at the same time captured general 
Renaud the governor, who had imprudently ven- 


book tured out with a weak escort. At this time Marmont 


_ — L_ had one division in Placentia, and the rest of his 
October m ^ antl T between that place and Madrid ; but his 
cavalry was at Peneranda on the Salamanca side 
of the mountains, and his line of communication 
was organized on the old Roman road of the Puerto 
de Pico, which had been repaired after the battle 
of Talavera. The army of the north stretched 
from the Tormes to Astorga, the walls of which 
place, as well as those of Zamora, and other towns 
in Leon, were being restored, that the flat country 
might be held with a few troops against the Gal- 
lician army. It was this scattering of the enemy 
which had enabled lord Wellington to send Hill 
against Girard at Aroyo de Molino ; but when the 
reinforcements from France reached the army of 
Portugal, the army of the north was again concen- 
trated, and would have invaded Gallicia while 
Bonet attacked the Asturias, if Julian Sanchez's 
exploit had not rendered it necessary first to re- 
victual Ciudad Rodrigo. 

With this view a large convoy was collected at 
Salamanca, in October, by general Thiebault, who 
spread a report that a force was to assemble towards 
Tamames, and that the convoy was for its support. 
This report did not deceive lord Wellington ; but 
he believed that the whole army of the north and 
one division of the army of Portugal would be 
employed in the operation, and therefore made 
arrangements to pass the Agueda and attack them 
on the march. The heavy rains however rendered 
the fords of that river impracticable ; Thiebault 
seized the occasion, introduced the convoy, and 
leaving a new governor returned on the 2nd of 
November before the waters had subsided. One 



brigade of the light division was at this time on the chap. 
Vadillo, but it was too weak to meddle with the 


French, and it was impossible to reinforce it while n ov- * 
the Agueda was overflowed ; for such is the nature of 
that river that all military operations on its banks 
are uncertain. It is very difficult for an army to 
pass it, at any time in winter, because of the narrow 
roads, the depth of the fords and the ruggedness 
of the banks ; it will suddenly rise from rains fall- 
ing on the hills, without any previous indication in 
the plains, and then the violence and depth of its 
stream will sweep away any temporary bridge, and 
render it impossible to pass except by the stone 
bridge of Ciudad Rodrigo, which was at this time 
in the enemy's possession. 

Early in November, Bonet, having reoccupied 
the Asturias, Dorsenne marched a body of troops 
towards the hills above Ciudad, as if to conduct 
another convoy ; but the allied troops being imme- 
diately concentrated, passed the Agueda at the ford 
of Zamara, whereupon the French retired, and their 
rear was harassed by Carlos d'Espaiia and Julian 
Sanchez, who captured some provisions and money 
contributions they had raised. But now the provi- 
sions in the country between the Coa and the 
Agueda were all consumed, and the continued 
negligence of the Portuguese government, with 
respect to the means of transport, rendered it im- 
possible to bring up the field magazines from the 
points of water carriage to the army. Lord Wel- 
lington was therefore, contrary to all military rules, 
obliged to separate his divisions in face of the 
enemy, and to spread the troops, especially the 
cavalry, even to the Mondego and the valley of the 
Douro, or see them starved. 



book To cover this dangerous proceeding he kept a con- 

- L siderable body of men beyond the Coa, and the 

state of all the rivers and roads, at that season, 
together with the distance of the enemy in some 
measure protected him ; general Hill's second ex- 
pedition into Estremadura was then also drawing 
the attention of the French towards that quarter ; 
finally Marmont, being about to detach Montbrun 
towards Valencia, had withdrawn Foy's division 
from Placentia, and concentrated the greatest part 
of his army at Toledo ; all which rendered the 
scattering of the allies less dangerous, and in fact no 
evil consequences ensued. This war of positions 
had therefore turned entirely to the advantage of 
the allies, lord Wellington by taking post near 
Ciudad Rodrigo while Hill moved round Badajos, 
had in a manner paralysed three powerful armies. 
For Soult harassed by Hill in Estremadura, and by 
Ballesteros and Skerrett in Andalusia, failed in both 
quarters ; and although Marmont in conjunction 
with Dorsenne, had succoured Ciudad Rodrigo, 
the latter general's invasion of Gallicia had been 
stopped short, and his enterprises confined to the 
reoccupation of the Asturias. 

Meanwhile the works of Almeida were so far re- 
stored as to secure it from a sudden attack, and in 
November when the army by crossing the Agueda 
had occupied the attention of the French, the battering 
train and siege stores were brought to that fortress, 
without exciting the enemy's attention, because they 
appeared to be only the armament for the new 
works ; a trestle bridge to throw over the Agueda 
was also secretly prepared in the arsenal of Almeida 
by major Sturgeon of the staff corps, an officer 
whose brilliant talents, scientific resources, and un- 


mitigated activity continually attracted the attention chap. 
of the whole army. Thus the preparation for the 
attack of Ciudad advanced while the English general 
seemed to be only intent upon defending his own 






book Having now brought the story of the war to 
xvi. . to J 

that period, when, after many changes of fortune, 

the chances had become more equal, and the fate 
of the Peninsula, thrown as it were between the 
contending powers, became a prize for the readiest 
and boldest warrior, I would, ere it is shown how 
Wellington seized it, recal to the reader's recol- 
lection the previous vicissitudes of the contest. I 
would have him remember how, when the first, or 
insurrectional epoch of the war, had terminated 
successfully for the Spaniards, Napoleon vehe- 
mently broke and dispersed their armies, and drove 
the British auxiliaries to embark at Corufia. How 
the war with Austria, and the inactivity of Joseph, 
rendered the emperor's victories unavailing, and 
revived the confidence of the Spaniards. How sir 
Arthur Wellesley, victorious on the Douro, then 
marched into Spain, and, although the concen- 
trated force of the enemy, and the ill conduct of 
the Spanish government, forced him to retreat 
again to Portugal as sir John Moore, from the 
same causes, had been obliged to retreat to the 
ocean, he by his advance relieved Gallicia, as 
Moore had by a like operation before saved Anda- 
lusia, which concluded the third epoch. 

How the peninsulars, owing to the exertions of 
their allies, still possessed a country, extending 
from the Asturias, through Gallicia, Portugal, An- 



dalusia, Murcia, Valencia, and Catalonia, and in- chap 
eluding every important harbour and fortress except . 
Santander, Santona, Barcelona, and St. Sebastian. 
How Wellington appreciating the advantages which 
an invaded people possess in their numerous lines 
of operation, then, counselled the Spaniards, and 
forced the Portuguese, to adopt a defensive war; 
and with the more reason that England, abounding 
beyond all nations in military resources, and invin- 
cible as a naval power, could form with her ships 
a secure exterior floating base or line of depots 
round the Peninsula, and was ready to employ her 
armies as well as her squadrons in the struggle. 
How the Spaniards, unheeding these admonitions, 
sought great battles, and in a few months lost the 
Asturias, Andalusia, Estremadura, Aragon, and 
the best fortresses of Catalonia, and were again 
laid prostrate and helpless before the enemy. 

How the victorious French armies then moved 
onwards, in swelling pride, until dashed against the 
rocks of Lisbon they receded, broken and refluent, 
and the English general once more stood a con- 
queror on the frontier of Spain ; and had he then 
retaken Badajos and Rodrigo he would have glo- 
riously finished the fourth or defensive epoch of the 
war. But being baffled, partly by skill, partly by 
fortune ; factiously opposed by the Portuguese re- 
gency, thwarted by the Spanish government, only 
half supported by his own cabinet, and pestered by 
the follies of all three, he was reduced to a seeming 
inactivity ; and meanwhile the French added Tara- 
gona and the rich kingdom of Valencia to their 

These things I would have the reader reflect 
upon, because they are the proofs of what it is the 


boo;c main object of this history to inculcate, namely 



_ that English steel, English gold, English genius, 
English influence, fought and won the battle of 
Spanish independence ; and this not as a matter of 
boast, although it was very glorious ! but as a 
useful lesson of experience. On the other hand 
also we must wonder at the prodigious strength of 
France under Napoleon, that strength which could 
at once fight England and Austria, aim at the con- 
quest of the Peninsula, and the reduction of Russia 
at the same moment of time, and all with good 
hope of success. 

Let it not be said that the emperor's efforts in 
the war of Spain were feeble, for if the insurrec- 
tional epoch, which was unexpected and accidental, 
be set aside, the grandeur of his efforts will be 
found answerable to his gigantic reputation. In 
1809 the French army was indeed gradually de- 
creased by losses and drafts for the Austrian war, 
from three hundred and thirty-five thousand, which 
Napoleon had led into the country, to two hun- 
dred and twenty -six thousand. But in 1810 it 
was again raised to three hundred and sixty-nine 
thousand, and fluctuated between that number and 
three hundred and thirty thousand until August 
Appendix, 1811, when it was again raised to three hundred 
section 2. and seventy-two thousand men with fifty-two thou- 
sand horses ! And yet there are writers who assert 
that Napoleon neglected the war in Spain ! But 
so great is the natural strength of that country, 
that had the firmness of the nation in battle and its 
wisdom in council, been commensurate with its 
constancy in resistance, even this power, backed by 
the four hundred thousand men who marched to 
Russia, would scarcely have been sufficient to 


subdue it; whereas,* weak in fight and steeped in chap. 

folly, the Spaniards must have been trampled in the '. — 

dust, but for the man whose great combinations I am 1811- 
now about to relate. 

The nicety, the quickness, the prudence, and the 
audacity of Wellington's operations, cannot however 
be justly estimated without an exact knowledge of 
his political, local, and moral position. His political 
difficulties have been already described, and his 
moral situation was simply, that of a man, who 
felt, that all depended upon himself; that he must 
by some rapid and unexpected stroke effect in the 
field what his brother could not effect in the cabi- 
net, while the power of the Perceval faction was 
prevalent in England. But to understand his local 
or military position, the conformation of the coun- 
try and the lines of communication must be care- 
fully considered. 

The principal French magazines were at Valla- 
dolid, and their advanced troops were on the 
Tormes, from whence to the Agueda, where they 
held the important point of Ciudad Rodrigo, was 
four long marches through a wild forest country. 

The allies' line of communication from the 
Agueda to Lisbon, was supplied by water to 
Raiva on the Mondego, after which the land car- 
riage was at least a hundred miles, through wild 
mountains, or devastated valleys ; it required fif- 
teen days to bring up a convoy from Lisbon to the 

The line of communication with Oporto on the 
left flank, run through eighty miles of very rugged 
country, before it reached the first point of water 
carriage on the Douro. 

The line of communication with Hill's army on 


book the right flank, running also through a country full 

'— of strong passes and natural obstacles, offered no 

1811 * resources for an army, save what were furnished 
by the allies' field magazines, which were supplied 
from Abrantes, the first navigable point on the 
Tagus. On this line the boat-bridge of Villa 
Velha was a remarkable feature, as furnishing the 
only military passage over the Tagus between 
Abrantes and Almaraz. 

The country between the Coa and the Agueda 
could not supply the troops who occupied it ; and 
the nature of the last river, and the want of a 
covering position beyond, rendered it a matter of 
the utmost danger and difficulty to besiege or even 
invest Ciudad Rodrigo. The disadvantage which 
the French suffered in being so distant from that 
fortress was thus balanced. 

These considerations had prevented the English 
general from attacking Ciudad Rodrigo in May ; 
he had then no battering train, and Almeida and 
her guns, were rendered a heap of ruins by the 
exploit of Brenier. Badajos was at that period his 
object, because Beresford was actually besieging it, 
and the recent battle of Fuentes Onoro, the disputes 
of the French generals, the disorganization of Mas- 
sena's army, and as proved by that battle, the 
inefficiency of the army of the north, rendered it 
improbable that a serious invasion of Portugal 
would be resumed on that side. And as the lines 
of communication with the Mondego and the 
Douro, were not then completely re-established, 
and the intermediate magazines small, no incur- 
sion of the enemy could have done much mischief; 
and Spencer's corps was sufficiently strong to cover 
the line to Vilha Velha. 


Affairs however soon changed. The skill of chap. 

Phillipon, the diligence of Marmont, and the ge- 

neralship of Soult, in remaining at Llerena after 
his repulse at Albuera, had rescued Badajos. Lord 
Wellington's boldness in remaining on the Caya 
prevented further mischief, but the conduct o£ the 
Portuguese government, combined with the position 
which Napoleon had caused Marmont to take in 
the valley of the Tagus, effectually precluded a re- 
newal of that siege ; and then the fallacious hope of 
finding Ciudad unprovided, brought lord Welling- 
ton back to the Coa. This baffled the enemy's 
projects, yet the position of the army of the north, 
and that of Portugal, the one in front, the other 
on the flank, prevented the English general from 
undertaking any important operations in the field. 
For if he had advanced on Salamanca, besides the 
natural difficulties of the country, his communica- 
tions with Hill, and even with Abrantes and Lisbon, 
would have been cut by Marmont ; and if he turned 
against Marmont on the Tagus, Soult and Dor- 
senne would have closed upon his flanks. 

This state of affairs not being well considered, 
had induced some able officers, at the time of the 
Elbodon operation, to censure the line of retreat 
to Sabugal, because it uncovered the line of Cele- 
rico, and exposed to capture the battering train 
then at Villa Ponte ; but war is always a choice 
of difficulties, and it was better to risk guns, of 
whose vicinity the enemy was not aware, than to 
give up the communication with Hill which was 
threatened by the advance of Foy's two divisions 
on Zarza Maior. 

As the French armies were reinforced after the 
allies came to Beira, Dorsenne and Marmont be- 



book came each equal to Wellington in the field, and 
, together infinitely too strong. Soult was then 
master of Andalusia, and had a moveable reserve 
of twenty thousand men ; the army of Suchet daily 
gained ground in Valencia, the Asturias were re- 
occupied by Bonet, and the army of the centre was 
reorganized. Hence, to commence the siege of 
either Ciudad or Badajos, in form, was hopeless, 
and when the rumour of Napoleon's arrival became 
rife, the English general, whose embarrassments 
were hourly increasing, looked once more to the 
lines of Torres Vedras as a refuge. But when the 
certainty of the Russian war removed this fear, 
the aspect of affairs again changed, and the cap- 
ture of Ciudad Rodrigo became possible. For, 
first, there was a good battering train in Almeida, 
and the works of that place were restored ; se- 
condly, the line of communication with Oporto 
was completely organized, and shortened by im- 
proving the navigation of the Douro ; thirdly, 
Ciudad itself was very weakly garrisoned and the 
ignorance of the French as to the state of the 
allies' preparations gave hope of a surprise. It 
was, however, only by a surprise that success 
could be expected, and it was not the least of lord 
Wellington's merits that he so well concealed his 
preparations, and for so long a period. No other 
operation, promising any success, was open ; and 
yet the general could no longer remain inactive, 
because around him the whole fabric of the war 
was falling to pieces from the folly of the govern- 
ments he was serving. If he could not effect a 
blow against the French while Napoleon was en- 
gaged in the Russian war, it was clear that the 
Peninsula would be lost. 


Now the surprise of a fortress, with a garrison chap. 

of only seventeen hundred men, seems a small 
matter in such grave circumstances, but in reality ]J**" 
it was of the very greatest importance, because 
it was the first step in a plan which saved the 
Peninsula when nothing else could have saved 
it. Lord Wellington knew that the valley of the 
Tagus, could not long support both the army of 
Portugal, and the army of the centre ; he knew by 
intercepted letters that Marmont and the king were 
already at open war upon the subject, and he 
judged, that if he could surprise Ciudad Rodrigo, 
the army of Portugal would be obliged, for the 
sake of provisions, and to protect Leon, then weak- 
ened by the departure of the imperial guards, to 
concentrate in that province. This was the first step. 
The French kept magazines in reserve for sudden 
expeditions, feeding meanwhile as they could upon 
the country, and therefore their distress for provi- 
sions never obstructed their moving upon important 
occasions. Nevertheless lord Wellington thought the 
tempestuous season would render it very difficult 
for Marmont, when thus forced into Leon, to move 
with great masses ; wherefore he proposed when 
Rodrigo fell, to march by Vilha Velha to Estrema- 
dura, and suddenly besiege Badajos also, the pre- 
parations to be previously made in Elvas, under the 
protection of Hill's corps, and unknown to the enemy. 
This was the second step, and in this surprise also 
he hoped to be successful, because of the jealousies 
of the marshals, the wet season, and his own com- 
binations, which would impede the concentration 
of the French armies, and prevent them from keep- 
ing together if they did unite. He had hopes like- 
wise that as Ballesteros' corps was now augmented, 
vol. iv. 2 B 




book it would vex Soult's posts on the coast, while Hill 

XVI. . 

— and Morillo harassed him on the Guadiana ; and if 
Badajos fell, the English general was resolved to 
leave a force to cover the captured place against the 
army of the centre, and then fight Soult in Anda- 
lusia. For he judged that Marmont could not for 
want of provisions, pass beyond the Guadiana, nor 
follow him before the harvest was ripe ; neither 
did he fear him in Beira, because the torrents 
would be full, the country a desert, and the militia, 
aided by a small regular corps, and covered by Al- 
meida and Ciudad Rodrigo, would, he thought, 
be sufficient to prevent any serious impression 
being made on Portugal during the invasion of 

This was lord Wellington's plan, and his firmness 
and resolution in conceiving it were the more signal 
because his own troops were not in good plight. The 
army had indeed received reinforcements, but the 
infantry had served at Walcheren, and exposure to 
night air, or even slight hardship, threw them by 
hundreds into the hospital, while the new regiments 
of cavalry, inexperienced, and not acclimated, 
were found, men and horses, quite unfit for 
duty, and were sent to the rear. The pay of the 
army was three months in arrear, and the sup- 
plies, brought up with difficulty, were very scanty ; 
half and quarter rations were often served, and 
sometimes the troops were without any bread for 
three days consecutively, and their clothing was so 
patched, that scarcely a regiment could be known 
by its uniform. Chopped straw, the only forage, 
was so scarce that the regimental animals were 
dying of hunger ; corn was rarely distributed save 
to the generals and staff, and even the horses of 


the artillery and of the old cavalry suffered ; nay, chap. 
the very mules of the commissariat were pinched by ' 

the scarcity, and the muleteers were eight months |^ 1L 
in arrears of pay. The cantonments on the Coa 
and Agueda were unhealthy from the continued 
rains, above twenty thousand men were in hospital ; 
and deduction made for other drains, only fifty-four 
thousand of both nations, including garrisons and 
posts of communication, were under arms. To 
finish the picture, the sulky apathy produced in the 
Portuguese regency by the prince regent's letter? 
was now becoming more hurtful than the former 
active opposition. 

But even these distresses so threatening to the 
general cause, Wellington turned to the advantage 
of his present designs ; for the enemy were aware 
of the misery in the army, and in their imagination 
magnified it ; and as the allied troops were scat- 
tered, for relief, from the Gata mountains to the 
Douro, and from the Agueda to the Mondego, at 
the very moment when the battering train entered 
Almeida, both armies concluded, that these guns 
were only to arm that fortress, as a cover to the 
extended country quarters which necessity had 
forced the British general to adopt. No person, 
not even the engineers employed in the prepara- 
tions, knew more than that a siege or the simulation 
of a siege was in contemplation ; but when it was 
to be attempted, or that it would be attempted at 
all, none knew ; even the quarter-master general 
Murray, was permitted to go home on leave, with 
the full persuasion that no operation would take 
place before spring. 

In the new cantonments, however, abundance of 

2 b 2 


book provisions, and dry weather (for in Beira the first 


rains generally subside during December,) stopped 
Dec tne s i CKness > and restored about three thousand 
men to the ranks ; and it would be a great error to 
suppose, that the privations had in any manner 
weakened the moral courage of the troops. The 
old regiments had become incredibly hardy and 
experienced in all things necessary to sustain their 
strength and efficacy ; the staff of the army was 
well practised, and lord Fitzroy Somerset, the mili- 
tary secretary, had established such an intercourse 
between the head-quarters and the commanders of 
battalions, that the latter had, so to speak, direct 
communication with the general-in-chief upon all 
the business of their regiments ; a privilege which 
increased the enthusiasm and zeal of all in a very 
surprising manner. For the battalions being gene- 
rally under very young men, the distinctions of 
rank were not very rigidly enforced, and the merits 
of each officer were consequently better known, 
and more earnestly supported when promotion and 
honours were to be obtained. By this method lord 
Fitzroy acquired an exact knowledge of the true 
moral state of each regiment, rendered his own 
office at once powerful and gracious to the army, 
and yet, such was his discretion and judgment, did 
in no manner weaken the military hierarchy ; thus 
also all the daring young men were excited, and 
being unacquainted with the political difficulties of 
their general, anticipated noble triumphs which 
were happily realized. 

The favourable moment for action so long watched 
for by Wellington came at last. An imperial decree 
had remodelled the French armies. That of Arasron 


was directed to give up four divisions to form chap. 

a new corps, under Reille, called the " army 

of the Ebro" whose head-quarters were at Lerida. p^ 
The army of the south was recomposed in six divi- 
sions of infantry and three of cavalry, besides the 
garrison of Badajos, and marshal Victor returned 
to France, discontented, for he was one of those 
whose reputation had been abated by this war. 
His divisions were given to generals Conroux, 
Barrois, Villatte, Laval, Drouet, Daricau, Peyre- 
mont, Digeon, and the younger Soult, Phillipon 
continuing governor of Badajos. The reserve of 
Monthion was broken up, and the army of the 
north, destined to maintain the great communi- 
cations with France and to reduce the Partidas, 
on that line, was ordered to occupy the districts 
round St. Ander, Sebastian, Burgos, and Pam- 
peluna, and to communicate by the left with the 
new army of the Ebro : it was also exceedingly 
reduced in numbers ; for the imperial guards, se- 
venteen thousand strong, were required for the 
Russian war, and marched in December to France. 
And besides these troops, the Polish battalions, 
the skeletons of the cavalry regiments, and several 
thousand choice men destined to fill the ranks of 
the old guard were drafted ; so that not less than 
forty thousand, of the very best soldiers, were 
withdrawn, and the maimed and worn-out men 
being sent back to France at the same time, the 
force in the Peninsula was diminished by sixty 

The head-quarters of the army of the north 
arrived at Burgos in January, and a division was im- 
mediately sent to drive Mendizabel from the Mon- 
tana de St. Ander ; but as this arrangement weak- 

374 history of the 

hook ened the grand line of communication with France, 


Marmont was ordered to abandon the valley of the 
January. Tagus and fix his head-quarters at Valladolid or 
Salamanca. Ciudad Rodrigo, the sixth and seventh 
governments, and the Asturias, were also placed 
under his authority, by which Souham and Bonet's 
division, forming together about eighteen thousand 
men, were added to his army ; but the former 
general returned to France. These divisions how- 
ever, being pressed by want, were extended from 
the Asturias to Toledo, while Montbrun was near 
Valencia, and meanwhile Soult's attention was dis- 
tracted by Tarifa, and by Hill's pursuit of Drouet. 
Thus the French armies, every where occupied, were 
spread over an immense tract of country ; Marmont 
deceived by the seemingly careless winter attitude 
of the allies, left Ciudad Rodrigo unprotected 
within their reach, and Wellington jumped with 
I both feet upon the devoted fortress. 




The troops disposable for the attack of Ciudad chap. 
Rodrigo were about thirty-five thousand, including 

1 pi o 

cavalry ; the materials for the siege were established j anuai y. 
at Gallegos, Villa del Ciervo, and Espeja, on the 
left of the Agueda, and the ammunition was at Al- 
meida. From those places, the hired carts and 
mules, were to bring up the stores to the pare, 
and seventy pieces of ordnance had been collected 
at Villa de Ponte. But from the scarcity of trans- 
ports only thirty-eight guns could be brought to the 
trenches, and these would have wanted their due 
supply of ammunition, if eight thousand shot had 
not been found amidst the ruins of Almeida. 

On the 1st of January the bridge was commenced 
at Marialva, near the confluence of the Azava with 
the Agueda, about six miles below Ciudad, and 
piles were driven into the bed of the river, above 
and below, to which the trestles were tied to render 
the whole firm. The fortress was to have been 
invested on the 6th, but the native carters were 
two days moving over ten miles of flat and excellent 
road, with empty carts ; the operation was thus 
delayed, and it was dangerous to find fault with 
these people, because they deserted on the slightest 
offence. Meanwhile the place being closely exa- 
mined, it was found that the French, in addition 


book to the old works, had fortified two convents, which 
- ! flanked and strengthened the bad Spanish entrench- 

Jammr ments round the suburbs. They had also con- 
structed an enclosed and palisadoed redoubt upon 
the greater Teson ; and this redoubt, called Fran- 
cisco, was supported by two guns and a howitzer 
placed on the flat roof of the convent of that name. 

The soil around was exceedingly rocky, except 
on the Teson itself, and though the body of the 
place was there better covered by the outworks, 
and could bring most fire to bear on the trenches, 
it was more assailable according to the English 
general's views ; because elsewhere the slope of the 
ground was such, that batteries must have been 
erected on the very edge of the counterscarp before 
they could see low r enough to breach. This would 
have been a tedious process, whereas the smaller 
Teson furnished the means of striking over the 
crest of the glacis at once, and a deep gully near 
the latter offered cover for the miners. It was 
therefore resolved to storm fort Francisco, form a 
lodgement there, and opening the first parallel along 
the greater Teson, to place thirty-three pieces in 
counter-batteries with which to ruin the defences, 
and drive the besieged from the convent of Fran- 
cisco ; then working forward by the sap to construct 
breaching-batteries on the lesser Teson, and blow 
in the counterscarp, while seven guns, by battering 
a weak turret on the left, opened a second breach, 
with a view to turn any retrenchment behind the 
principal breach. 

The first, third, fourth, and light divisions, and 
Pack's Portuguese, were destined for the siege, but 
as the country on the right bank of the Agueda 
was destitute of fuel and cover, these troops were 


still to keep their quarters on the left bank ; and chap. 
although there was a very severe frost and fall of. 

snow, yet one division carrying a day's provisions j a n 81 ^ 
ready cooked, was to ford the river, every twenty- 
four hours, either above or below the town, and 
thus alternately carry on the works. Meanwhile 
to cover the siege, Julian Sanchez and Carlos d'Es- 
pafia were posted on the Tormes in observation of 
the enemy. 

To obviate the difficulty of obtaining country 
transport, the English general had previously con- 
structed eight hundred carts drawn by horses, and 
these were now his surest dependence for bringing 
up ammunition ; yet so many delays were antici- 
pated from the irregularity of the native carters and 
muleteers, and the chances of weather, that he cal- 
culated upon an operation of twenty-four days, and 
yet hoped to steal it from his adversaries; sure, even 
if he failed, that the clash of his arms would again 
draw their scattered troops to that quarter, as tink- 
ling bells draw swarming bees to an empty hive. 

The 8th of January the light division and Pack's 
Portuguese forded the Agueda near Caridad, three 
miles above the fortress, and making a circuit, took 
post beyond the great Teson, where they remained 
quiet during the day, and as there was no regular 
investment, the enemy believed not that the siege was 
commenced. But in the evening the troops stood 
to their arms, and colonel Colborne commanding the 
fifty-second, having assembled two companies from 
each of the British regiments of the light division, 
stormed the redoubt of Francisco. This he did with 
so much fury, that the assailants appeared to be at 
one and the same time, in the ditch, mounting the 
parapets, fighting on the top of the rampart, and 


book forcing the gorge of the redoubt, where the explosion 
of one of the French shells had burst the gate open. 

1812. Of j-] ie d e f enc [ers a few were killed, not many, 

January. % J 

and the remainder, about forty in number, were 
made prisoners. The post being thus taken with 
the loss of only twenty -four men and officers, work- 
ing parties were set to labour on the right of it, 
because the fort itself was instantly covered with 
shot and shells from the town. This tempest 
continued through the night, but at day-break 
the parallel, six hundred yards in length, was 
sunk three feet deep, and four wide, the communi- 
cation over the Teson to the rear was completed, 
and the progress of the siege was thus hastened se- 
veral days by this well-managed assault. 

The 9th the first division took the trenches in 
hand. The place was encircled by posts to prevent 
any external communication, and at night twelve 
hundred workmen commenced three counter-bat- 
teries, for eleven guns each, under a heavy fire of 
shells and grape. Before day-light the labourers 
were under cover, and a ditch was also sunk in 
the front to provide earth ; for the batteries were 
made eighteen feet thick at top, to resist the very 
powerful artillery of the place. 

On the 10th the fourth division relieved the 
trenches, and a thousand men laboured, but in 
great peril, for the besieged had a superabundance 
of ammunition, and did not spare it. In the night 
the communication from the parallel to the batteries 
was opened, and on the 11th the third division 
undertook the siege. 

This day the magazines in the batteries were 
excavated, and the approaches widened, but the 
enemy's fire was destructive, and the shells came so 


fast into the ditch in front of the batteries, that the chap. 
troops were withdrawn, and the earth was raised 

from the inside. Great damage was also sustained j anu a ry , 
from salvos of shells, with long fuzes, whose simul- 
taneous explosion cut away the parapets in a strange 
manner, and in the night the French brought a 
howitzer to the garden of the convent of Francisco, 
with which they killed many men and wounded 

On the 12th the light division resumed the work, 
and the riflemen taking advantage of a thick fog, 
covered themselves in pits, which they digged in 
front of the trenches, and from thence picked off the 
enemy's gunners ; but in the night the weather was 
so cold, and the besieged shot so briskly, that little 
progress was made. 

The 13th, the first division being on duty, the 
same causes impeded the labourers, and now also 
the scarcity of transport baulked the general's ope- 
rations. One third only, of the native carts, ex- 
pected, had arrived, and the drivers of those pre- 
sent were very indolent ; much of the twenty-four 
pound ammunition was still at Villa de Ponte, and 
intelligence arrived that Marmont was collecting 
his forces to succour the place. Wellington there- 
fore changing his first plan, resolved to open a 
breach with his counter-batteries, which were not 
quite six hundred yards from the curtain, and then 
to storm the place without blowing in the counter- 
scarp ; in other words, to overstep the rules of 
science, and sacrifice life rather than time, for such 
was the capricious nature of the Agueda that in one 
night a flood might enable a small French force to 
relieve the place. 

The whole army was immediately brought up 


book from the distant quarters, and posted in the villages 
— on the Coa, ready to cross the Agueda and give 


January. ^ at ^ e 5 an d Mi was at tn ^ s time, that Hill, who was 
then at Merida, returned to Portalegre, and sent a 
division across the Tagus, lest Marmont in despair 
vide page f uniting his force in the north, in time to save 
Ciudad, should act against the line of communica- 
tion by Castello Branco and Vilha Velha. 

In the night of the 1 3th the batteries were armed 
with twenty-eight guns, the second parallel and the 
approaches were continued by the flying sap, and 
the Santa Cruz convent was surprised by the Ger- 
mans of the first division, which secured the right 
flank of the trenches. 

The 14th the enemy, who had observed that the 
men in the trenches always went off in a disorderly 
manner on the approach of the relief, made a 
sally and overturned the gabions of the sap ; they 
even penetrated to the parallel, and were upon 
the point of entering the batteries, when a few 
of the workmen getting together, checked them 
until a support arrived, and thus the guns were 
saved. This affair, together with the death of the 
engineer on duty, and the heavy fire from the town, 
delayed the opening of the breaching-batteries, but 
at half-past four in the evening, twenty-five heavy 
guns battered the " fausse braye" and rampart, and 
two pieces were directed against the convent of 
Francisco. Then was beheld a spectacle at once 
fearful and sublime. The enemy replied to the 
assailants' fire with more than fifty pieces, the bel- 
lowing of eighty large guns shook the ground far 
and wide, the smoke rested in heavy volumes upon 
the battlements of the place, or curled in light 
wreaths about the numerous spires, the shells, 


hissing through the air, seemed fiery serpents leap- chap. 
ing from the darkness, the walls crashed to the 

stroke of the bullet, and the distant mountains, T 1812 - 

. January. 

faintly returning the sound, appeared to moan over 
the falling city. And when night put an end to 
this turmoil, the quick clatter of musketry was 
heard like the pattering of hail after a peal of 
thunder, for the fortieth regiment assaulted and 
carried the convent of Francisco, and established 
itself in the suburb on the left of the attack. 

The next day the ramparts were again battered, 
and fell so fast that it was judged expedient to 
commence the small breach at the turret, and in the 
night of the 15th five more guns were mounted. 
The 16th at day-light the besiegers' batteries re- 
commenced, but at eight o'clock a thick fog obliged 
them to desist, nevertheless the small breach had 
been opened, and the place was now summoned, 
but without effect. At night the parallel on the 
lower Teson was extended, and a sharp musketry 
was directed from thence against the great breach. 
The breaching-battery as originally projected was 
also commenced, and the riflemen of the light di- 
vision, hidden in the pits, continued to pick off the 
enemy's gunners. 

The 17th the fire on both sides was very heavy 
and the wall of the place was beaten down in large 
cantles ; but several of the besiegers' guns were 
dismounted, their batteries injured, and many of 
their men killed ; general Borthwick the com- 
mandant of artillery was wounded and the sap was 
entirely ruined. Even the riflemen in the pits were 
at first overpowered with grape, yet towards even- 
ing they recovered the upper hand, and the French 
could only fire from the more distant embrasures. 
In the night the battery, intended for the lesser 


book breach, was armed, and that on the lower Teson 


raised so as to afford cover in the day-time. 

1812. Q n t ] ie i^ ^e besiegers' fire was resumed with 

January. ° 

great violence. The turret was shaken at the small 
breach, the large breach became practicable in the 
middle, and the enemy commenced retrenching it. 
The sap however could make no progress, the su- 
perintending engineer was badly wounded, and a 
twenty-four pounder having bursted in the bat- 
teries, killed several men. In the night the battery 
on the lower Teson was improved, and a field-piece 
and howitzer being placed there, kept up a constant 
fire on the great breach to destroy the French re- 

On the 19th both breaches became practicable, 
major Sturgeon closely examined the place, and a 
plan of attack was formed on his report ; the assault 
was then ordered, and the battering-guns were turned 
against the artillery of the ramparts. 


This operation which was confided to the third 
and light divisions, and Pack's Portuguese, was or- 
ganized in four parts. 

1°. The right attack. The light company of the 
eighty-third and the second ca^adores which were 
posted in the houses beyond the bridge on the 
Agueda, were directed to cross that river and 
escalade an outwork in front of the castle, where 
there was no ditch, but where two guns com- 
manded the junction of the counterscarp with the 
body of the place. The fifth and ninety-fourth re- 
giments posted behind the convent of Santa Cruz 
and having the seventy-seventh in reserve, were to 
enter the ditch at the extremity of the counter- 





scarp; then to escalade the " fausse braye" and chap. 
scour it on their left as far as the great breach. 

2°. The centre attack or assault of the great 
breach. One hundred and eighty men protected 
by the fire of the eighty-third regiment, and car- 
rying hay-bags to throw into the ditch, were to 
move out of the second parallel and to be followed 
by a storming party, which was again to be sup- 
ported by general Mackinnon's brigade of the third 

Left attack. The light division, posted behind 
the convent of Francisco, was to send three com- 
panies of the ninety-fifth to scour the u fausse 
braye" to the right, and so connect the left and 
centre attacks. At the same time a storming party 
preceded by the third cac^ adores carrying hay-sacks, 
and followed by Vandeleur's and Andrew Barnard's 
brigades, was to make for the small breach, and 
when the " fausse braye" was carried to detach to 
their right, to assist the main assault, and to the 
left to force a passage at the Salamanca gate. 

4°. The false attack. This was an escalade to be 
made by Pack's Portuguese on the St. Jago gate at 
the opposite side of the town. 

The right attack was commanded by colonel 
OToole of the ca^adores. 

Five hundred volunteers commanded by major 
Manners of the seventy-fourth with a forlorn hope 
under Mr. Mackie of the eighty-eighth, composed 
the storming party of the third division. 

Three hundred volunteers led by major George 
Napier of the fifty-second with a forlorn hope of 
twenty-five men under Mr. Gurwood, of the same 
regiment, composed the storming party of the light 

All the troops reached their different posts with- 


rook out seeming to attract the attention of the enemy, 
- but before the signal was given, and while lord 

1812. Wellington, who in person had been pointing out 
Appendix, the lesser breach to major Napier, was still at the 
sect. i. convent of Francisco, the attack on the right com- 
menced, and was instantly taken up along the 
whole line. Then the space between the army and 
the ditch was covered with soldiers and ravaged by 
a tempest of grape from the ramparts. The storm- 
ing parties of the third division jumped out of the 
parallel when the first shout arose, but so rapid had 
been the movements on their right, that before they 
could reach the ditch, Ridge, Dunkin, and Campbell 
with the fifth, seventy-seventh, and ninety-fourth 
regiments, had already scoured the " fansst bi^aye" 
and were pushing up the great breach, amidst 
the bursting of shells, the whistling of grape and 
muskets, and the shrill cries of the French who 
were driven fighting behind the retrenchments. 
There however they rallied, and aided by the mus- 
ketry from the houses, made hard battle for their 
post ; none would go back on either side, and yet 
the British could not get forward, and men and 
officers, falling in heaps, choked up the passage, 
which from minute to minute was raked with grape, 
from two guns, flanking the top of the breach at the 
distance of a few yards ; thus striving and tramp- 
ling alike upon the dead and the wounded these 
brave men maintained the combat. 

Meanwhile the stormers of the light division, 
who had three hundred yards of ground to clear, 
would not wait for the hay-bags, but with extraor- 
dinary swiftness running to the crest of the glacis, 
jumped down the scarp, a depth of eleven feet, and 
rushed up the u fans sc bray e' under a smashing 
discharge of grape and musketry. The bottom of 


the ditch was dark and intricate, and the forlorn chap. 
hope took too much to their left ; but the storming 

party went straight to the breach, which was so j™™' 
contracted that a gun placed lengthwise across the 
top nearly blocked up the opening. Here the 
forlorn hope rejoined the stormers, but when two- 
thirds of the ascent were gained, the leading men, 
crushed together by the narrowness of the place, 
staggered under the weight of the enemy's fire ; 
and such is the instinct of self-defence, that although 
no man had been allowed to load, every musket in 
the crowd was snapped. The commander, major 
Napier, was at this moment stricken to the earth by 
a grape shot which shattered his arm, but he called 
on his men to trust to their bayonets, and all the 
officers simultaneously sprang to the front, when the 
charge was renewed with a furious shout, and the 
entrance was gained. The supporting regiments 
coming up in sections, abreast, then reached the ram- 
part, the fifty-second wheeled to the left, the forty- 
third to the right, and the place was won. During 
this contest which lasted only a few minutes, after 
the "fausse braye" was passed, the fighting had con- 
tinued at the great breach with unabated violence, 
but when the forty-third, and the stormers of the 
light division, came pouring down upon the right 
flank of the French, the latter bent before the 
storm ; at the same moment, the explosion of 
three wall magazines destroyed many persons, 
and the third division with a mighty effort broke 
through the retrenchments. The garrison indeed 
still fought for a moment in the streets, but finally 
fled to the castle, where Mr. Gurwood who though 
wounded, had been amongst the foremost at the 
lesser breach, received the governor's sword. 
vol. iv. 2 e 


book The allies now plunged into the streets from all 


quarters, for OToole's attack was also successful, 
1812. an( j at t k e ot h er s ^ e f fa e town Pack's Portu- 


guese, meeting no resistance, had entered the place, 
and the reserves also came in. Then throwing off 
the restraints of discipline the troops committed 
frightful excesses. The town was fired in three 
or four places, the soldiers menaced their officers, 
and shot each other ; many were killed in the 
market-place, intoxication soon increased the tu- 
mult, disorder every where prevailed, and at last, 
the fury rising to an absolute madness, a fire was 
wilfully lighted in the middle of the great ma- 
gazine, when the town and all in it would have 
been blown to atoms, but for the energetic courage 
of some officers and a few soldiers who still pre- 
served their senses. 

Three hundred French had fallen, fifteen hundred 
were made prisoners, and besides the immense 
stores of ammunition, above one hundred and fifty 
pieces of artillery including the battering-train of 
Marmont's army, were captured in the place. The 
whole loss of the allies was about twelve hundred 
soldiers and ninety officers, and of these above six 
hundred and fifty men and sixty officers had been 
slain or hurt at the breaches. General Craw- 
furd and general Mackinnon, the former a man 
of great ability, were killed, and with them died 
many gallant men, amongst others, a captain of 
Captain the forty-fifth, of whom it has been felicitously 
remoirs, said, that " three generals and seventy other officers 
had fallen, but the soldiers fresh from the strife 
only talked of Hardyman." General Vandaleur, 
colonel Colborne, and a crowd of inferior rank 
were wounded, and unhappily the slaughter did 

vol. i. 


not end with the battle, for the next day as the chap. 
prisoners and their escort were marching out by 

the breach, an accidental explosion took place and j™*£' 
numbers of both were blown into the air. 

To recompense an exploit so boldly undertaken and 
so gloriously finished, lord Wellington was created 
duke of Ciudad Rodrigo by the Spaniards, earl of 
Wellington by the English, and marquis of Torres 
Vedras by the Portuguese ; but it is to be remarked, 
that the prince regent of Portugal had previous to 
that period displayed great ingratitude in the con- 
ferring of honours upon the British officers. 


1°. The duration of this siege was twelve days, 
or half the time originally calculated upon by the 
English general, and yet the inexperience both of 
the engineer and soldier, and the very heavy fire 
of the place, had caused the works to be more 
slowly executed than might have been expected ; 
the cold also had impeded the labourers, and yet 
with a less severe frost the trenches would have 
been overflowed, because in open weather the water 
rises every where to within six inches of the surface. 
But the worst obstacle was caused by the disgrace- 
ful badness of the cutting-tools furnished from the 
storekeeper-general's office in England, the profits 
of the contractor seemed to be the only thing re- 
spected ; the engineers eagerly sought for French 
implements, because those provided by England 
were useless. 

2°. The audacious manner in which Wellington 
stormed the redoubt of Francisco, and broke ground 

2 c 2 



book on the first night of the investment : the more au~ 


— dacious manner in which he assaulted the place 

January De fb re the fire of the defence had been in any 
manner lessened, and before the counterscarp had 
been blown in ; were the true causes of the sudden 
fall of the place. Both the military and political 
state of affairs warranted this neglect of rules. 
The final success depended more upon the courage 
of the troops' than the skill of the engineer ; and 
when the general terminated his order for the 
assault, with this sentence, " Ciudad Rodrigo must 
be stormed this evening," he knew well that it 
would be nobly understood. Yet the French fought 
bravely on the breach, and by their side many 
British deserters, desperate men, were bayonetted. 
3°. The great breach was cut off from the town 
by a perpendicular descent of sixteen feet, and the 
bottom was planted with sharp spikes, and strewn 
with live shells ; the houses behind were all loop- 
hooled, and garnished with musketeers, and on the 
flanks there were cuts, not indeed very deep or 
wide and the French had left the temporary bridges 
over them, but behind were parapets so powerfully 
defended that it was said the third division could 
never have carried them, had not the light division 
taken the enemy in flank : an assertion perhaps 
easier made than proved. 

4°. The rapid progress of the allies on this oc- 
casion, has been contrasted with the slow pro- 
ceedings of Massena in 1810, and the defence of 
Herrasti has been compared with that of Barrie. But 
Massena was not pressed for time, and he would have 
been blameable to have spared labour at the expense 
of blood ; Herrasti also had a garrison of six thou- 
sand men, whereas Barrie had less than two thou- 


sand, of which only seventeen hundred were able chap. 

to bear arms, and he had additional works to guard '. 

Nevertheless his neglect of the lesser breach was a j™™ T ' 
great error ; it was so narrow and high, that a very 
slight addition to its defences would have rendered 
it quite impracticable; and as the deserters told him 
in the morning of the 1 9th that the light division 
was come up, out of its turn, he must have ex- 
pected the assault and had time to prepare for it. 
Moreover the small breach was flanked at a very 
short distance, by a demi-bastion with a parapet, 
which, though little injured, was abandoned when 
the head of the storming party had forced their 
way on to the rampart. But the true way of de- 
fending Ciudad was by external operations, and it 
was not until it fell, that the error of Marmont at 
Elbodon could be judged in its full extent. Neither 
can that marshal be in any manner justified for 
having left so few men in Ciudad Rodrigo ; it is 
certain that with a garrison of five thousand the 
place would not have been taken, for when there are 
enough of men the engineer's art cannot be over- 
come by mere courage. 

5°. The excesses committed by the allied troops 
were very disgraceful. The Spanish people were 
allies and friends, unarmed and helpless, and all 
these claims were disregarded. " The soldiers 
were not to be controuled." That excuse will how- 
ever scarcely suffice here, because colonel Macleod 
of the forty-third, a young man of a most energetic 
spirit, placed guards at the breach and did constrain Cap tain 
his regiment to keep its ranks for a long time after Memo?*, 
the disorders commenced ; but as no previous general Ifj22. 
measures had been taken, and no organized efforts 
made by higher authorities, the men were finally 
carried away in the increasing tumult. 



Bop r K In Ciudad Rodrigo, papers were found by which 

it appeared, that many of the inhabitants were 

January, emissaries of the enemy : all these people Carlos 
d'Esparia slew without mercy, but of the English 
deserters, who were taken, some were executed, 
some pardoned, and the rigour of the Spanish ge- 
nerals was thought to be overstrained. 

When order had been restored workmen were 
set to repair the breaches and to level the trenches, 
and arrangements were made to provision the place 
quickly, for Marmont's army was gathering at Val- 
ladolid ; that general was however still ignorant 
that Ciudad had fallen. In the latter end of De- 
cember, rumour, anticipating the fact had indeed 
spoken of an English bridge on the Agueda, and 
the expedition to Alicant was countermanded ; yet 
the report died away, and Montbrun re-commenced 
his march. But though the bridge was cast on the 
1st and the siege commenced on the 8th, on the 
12th nothing was known at Salamanca. 

On the 11th Marmont arrived at Valladolid ; 
on the 15th he for the first time heard of the siege. 
His army was immediately ordered to concentrate 
at Salamanca, Bonnet quitted the Asturias, Mont- 
brun hastened back from Valencia, Dorsenne sent a 
detachment to aid, and on the 25th six divisions of 
infantry and one of cavalry, being about forty-five 
thousand in all, were assembled at Salamanca, from 
whence to Ciudad, was four marches. 


On the 23d Souham had advanced to Matilla to chap. 


ascertain the fate of the fortress, but meanwhile '. 

five thousand of Hill's troops had reached Castello jj^jar, 
Branco, and the allies were therefore strong enough 
to fight beyond the Agueda. Hence if the siege 
had even lasted twenty-four days, the place might 
still have been taken. 

The 26th Marmont knew that the fortress was 
lost, and unable to comprehend his adversary's suc- 
cess, retired to Valladolid. His divisions were thus 
harassed by ruinous marches in winter ; for Mont- 
brun had already reached Arevalo on his return from 
Valencia, and Bonnet in repassing the Asturian 
mountains, had suffered much from cold and fatigue, 
and more from the attacks of Porlier who harassed 
him without cessation. Sir Howard Douglas imme- 
diately sent money and arms to the Asturians, on 
one flank, and on the other flank, Morillo who had 
remained at Horcajo in great peril after his flight 
from Almagro, took the opportunity to escape by 
Truxillo ; meanwhile Saornil's band cut off a French 
detachment at Medina del Campo, other losses were 
sustained from the Partidas on the Tietar, and the 
operations of those in the Rioja, Navarre, and New 
Castile were renewed. The regular Spanish troops 
were likewise put in movement. Abadia and 
Cabrera, advancing from Gallicia, menaced Astorga 
and La Baneza, but the arrival of Bonnet at Bene- 
vente, soon obliged them to retire again to Puebla 
de Senabria and Villa Franca ; and Silveira who 
had marched across the frontier of Tras os Montes 
to aid them, also fell back to Portugal. 

Marmont's operations were here again ill judged. 
He should have taken post at Tamames, or St. 
Martin de Rio, and placed strong advanced guards 


book at Tenebron and St. Espiritus, in the hills imme- 


diately above Ciudad. His troops could have been 
Febmary. concentrated at those places the 28th and on that 
day such a heavy rain set in, that the trestle bridge 
at Marialva could not stand, and the river rose two 
feet over the stone bridge at the town. The allies 
were then on the left bank, the communication 
with the town was entirely cut off, the repair of 
the breaches was scarcely complete, and Ciudad 
being entirely exposed for several days might have 
been retaken. But the greatest warriors are the 
very slaves of fortune ! 

The English general's eyes were now turned to- 
wards Badajos, which he was desirous to invest 
in the second week of March ; because then the 
flooding of the rivers in Beira, would enable him 
to carry nearly all his forces to the Alemtejo, with- 
out risk, and the same rains would impede the 
junction of the enemy's force in Estremadura. 
Green forage was to be had in the last province 
considerably earlier than on the Agueda, and the 
success of the contemplated campaign in Andalusia 
depended upon the operations taking place before 
the harvest upon the ground should ripen, which 
was the enemy's resource, and would happen much 
earlier there than in Leon. 

Preliminary measures were already in progress. 
In December a pontoon bridge escorted by mi- 
litary artificers and some Portuguese seamen, had 
been ordered from Lisbon to Abrantes, where 
draft bullocks were collected to draw it to Elvas. 
After the fall of Ciudad stores and tools were 
sent from Lisbon to Setuval, and thence in boats 
to Alcacer do Sal ; and a company of the mili- 
tary artificers, then at Cadiz, were disembarked 


at Ayamonte to proceed to Elvas, where an engineer chap. 

officer secretly superintended the preparations for ! — 

the siege. Meanwhile the repairs of Ciudad went F e \ 8 / U a* 
on, two new redoubts were traced out upon the 
Tesons, the old one was enlarged, and the suburbs 
were strengthened , but the heavy storms before 
mentioned, impeded these works, and having en- 
tirely stopped all communication by sea and land, 
delayed for many days the preparations for the 
ulterior operations. When the weather cleared 
they were renewed, yet other obstacles were not 

The draft bullocks, sinking from want, were 
unable to drag the whole battering train by the 
way of Vilha Velha, and only sixteen twenty-four 
pounders, and twenty spare carriages could be 
moved on that line. To supply the deficiency six- 
teen twenty-four pounders, then in vessels in the 
Tagus, were ordered up to Abrantes, and admiral 
Berkeley was applied to for twenty ship-guns. He 
had none of that calibre and offered eighteen 
pounders, which were accepted ; but when major 
Dickson, who superintended the arrangements for 
the artillery service, arrived at Lisbon, he found 
that these were Russian pieces whose bore was too 
large for English shot, and the admiral refused to 
give guns from his own ship the Barfleur, in their 
place. This apparently capricious proceeding pro- 
duced both difficulty and delay, because the ar- 
tillery-men were in consequence obliged to cull the 
Portuguese shot in the arsenal to obtain a sufficient 
supply. However the energy of major Dickson 
overcame every obstacle, and in the beginning of 
March the battering guns fifty-two in number, the 
pontoons from Abrantes, and most of the stores 



book from Alca^er do Sal, were parked at Elvas, where 
also gabions and fascines were piled in great 

Marmont having lost his emissaries at Ciudad 
Rodrigo, and being unable to measure his adver- 
sary's talent and energy, had during these trans- 
actions again spread his troops that he might the 
more easily feed them. Three divisions of in- 
fantry and part of the cavalry returned to Talavera 
and Toledo. Souham occupied the country from 
Zamora and Toro, to the banks of the Tormes ; and 
Bonnet after driving the Gallicians back to Senabria 
and Villa Franca remained about Benevente and 
Astorga. The army of Portugal appeared to dread 
no further operations on the part of the allies, yet 
from some secret misgiving, Marmont caused ge- 
neral Foy to march through the Guadalupe, by the 
pass of St. Vincente to ascertain whether an army 
could march by that line from the Tagus to the 

This scattering of the French relieved lord 
Wellington from a serious embarrassment. The 
constant difficulty of land transport, had prevented 
him from bringing up the clothing of the army, and 
he was now obliged to send the regiments to those 
points on the Mondego, the Douro, and the Tagus, 
where the clothing had arrived by boats ; hence 
the march to the Alemtejo was necessarily long and 
unmilitary, and would have been too dangerous to 
attempt, if Marmont had kept his troops together 
on the Tormes, with advanced posts pushed to- 
wards Ciudad Rodrigo. The weather was now how- 
ever extremely favourable to the allies, and the new 
Portuguese commissariat supplied the troops on 
this march well, and without any of those exactions 


and oppressions which had always before marked chap, 
the movements of the native troops ; nevertheless * 

the scarcity was so great, that rations of cassava ^^ 
root were served to the Portuguese instead of 

The talents of lord Wellington always rose with 
his difficulties, but the want of specie crippled 
every operation. A movement into Spain, such as 
that now intended against Andalusia, could not be 
effected without magazines when there was no 
harvest on the ground, except by paying ready 
money ; because it was certain that the Spaniards, 
however favourably disposed, would never diminish 
their own secret resources for mere promises of pay- 
ment. The English general and Mr. Stuart, there- 
fore, endeavoured to get British bank notes ac- 
cepted as cash, by the great merchants of Lis- 
bon and Oporto ; and lord Wellington reflecting 
that, from the enormous sums spent in Portugal, 
many persons must needs have secret hoards which 
they would be glad to invest if they could do it 
safely, asked for English exchequer-bills to nego- 
tiate in the same manner ; intending to pay the 
interest punctually and faithfully however incon- 
venient it might prove at the moment. This plan 
could not be adopted with Portuguese paper, be- 
cause the finances were faithlessly managed by the 
regency ; but some futile arguments against the 
proposition were advanced by lord Liverpool, and 
money became so scarce, that we shall find, even in 
the midst of victory, the war was more than once 
like to stop altogether from absolute inability to 

On the 5th of March, the army being well on 
the way to the Alemtejo, lord Wellington who had 


book maintained his head-quarters on the Coa to the last 


moment, that the enemy might not be awakened to 

March ^ 1S real designs, gave up Ciudad Rodrigo to Cas- 
tanos. He also in person, and on the spot, ex- 
plained to Vives, the governor, the plan and inten- 
tion of the new works ; he supplied him with 
money to complete them ; furnished him with six 
weeks provision remaining from the field stores of 
the British troops, and gave him the reserved 
stores at St. Joa de Pesqueira on the Doaro, from 
whence Carlos d'Espaiia undertook to transport 
them to the fortress. 

As Marmont was at this time in Salamanca, and 
still ignorant of the allies' march, general Victor 
Alten's brigade of cavalry was posted on the 
Yeltes, to screen the allies' movement as long as 
possible, and he was instructed if Marmont ad- 
vanced to retire on Beira, and cover the magazines 
at Castello Branco, by disputing all the rivers and 
defiles with the enemy's advanced parties. At the 
same time Silveira was directed to fall back upon the 
Douro to cover Oporto ; the militia, under Trant 
and J. Wilson, were ordered to concentrate about 
Guarda ; and those of Beira to unite about Castello 
Branco under colonel Lecor ; the orders of all 
being the same, namely, to dispute the passage of 
the rivers and defiles. Trant was to defend those of 
the Estrella, and Lecor those of Castello Branco, on 
which town Victor Alten's cavalry was finally to re- 
tire if pressed. With these forces, and the Spaniards 
under Sanchez and Espana, and with the two for- 
tresses, for Almeida was now capable of defence, 
Marmont's efforts were not much to be dreaded in 
that season, after he had lost his battering train in 


These things arranged, Wellington set off for chap. 
Elvas which he reached the 11th, and prepared to 

invest Badajos, although neither the troops nor the ^J^j 
stores were all arrived ; but even this was ten days 
later than he had designed, and threw his operations 
into the violent equinoctial rains, by which the dif- 
ficulties were augmented two-fold. This was one 
of the evils produced by the incredibly vexatious 
conduct of the Portuguese regency. There was no 
want of transport in the country, but as the govern- 
ment would not oblige the magistrates to do their 
duty, the latter either refused to procure carts for 
the army, or obliged the poorer classes to supply 
them, from which oppression the peasants naturally 
endeavoured to escape by flight. Thus, all the 
arrangements for the investment of Badajos on the 
6th of March had been made, but the rich town of 
Evora, which had not seen the face of an enemy for 
more than three years, refused to supply any car- 
riages at all, and the operation was necessarily put 
off till the 17th. 

But it was in vain that Wellington threatened 
and remonstrated, in vain that he employed his 
time and wasted his mental powers in devising new 
laws, or remedies for bad ones ; it was in vain that 
Mr. Stuart exerted himself, with equal vigour, to 
give energy to this extraordinary government ; for 
whether in matters of small or vital importance, 
insolent anger and falsehood, disgraceful subter- 
fuges and stolid indifference, upon the part of all 
civil functionaries, from the highest to the lowest, 
met them at every turn. The responsibility even 
in small matters became too great for subordinate 
officers ; and the English general was forced to 
arrange the most trifling details of the service him- 



book self ; thus the iron-strength of his body and 

, L_ mind was strained, until all men wondered how 

they held, and in truth he did fall sick, but re- 
covered after a few days. The critical nature of 
the war may be here judged of, for no man could 
have taken his place at such a moment, no man, 
however daring or skilful, would have voluntarily 
plunged into difficulties which were like to drive 
Wellington from the contest. 



The 15th the pontoons were laid over the Gua- chap. 

diana, about four miles from Eivas, at a place ! 

where the current was dull, two large Spanish ^di 
boats were arranged as flying bridges ; and the 
16th, Beresford, who had again joined the army, 
crossed the river, drove in the enemy's posts, and 
invested Badajos with the third, fourth, and light 
divisions, and a brigade of Hamilton's Portuguese ; 
in all fifteen thousand men. 

Soult was then before the Isla, Drouet's division, 
of five thousand men, was at Villafranca, and Dar- 
ricau with a like force was at Zalamea de Serena 
near Medellin ; wherefore general Graham passing 
the Guadiana with the first, sixth, and seventh 
divisions of infantry, and two brigades of cavalry, 
directed his march by Valverde, and Santa Martha, 
upon Llerena, while Hill moved from Albuquerque 
by Merida upon Almendralejos. These covering 
corps were together thirty thousand strong, nearly 
five thousand including the heavy Germans who 
were at Estremos being cavalry; and as the fifth 
division was now on the march from Beira, the Appendix, 

' No. IX. 

whole army presented about fifty-one thousand Sectionl * 
sabres and bayonets, of which twenty thousand 
were Portuguese. Castaiios had repaired to Gal- 
licia, but the fifth Spanish army under Morillo and 
Penne Villemur, being about four thousand strong, 
passed down the Portuguese frontier to the Lower 



hook Guadiana, intending to fall on Seville when Soult 


should advance to the succour of Badajos. 

As the allies advanced, Drouet marched by his 
right to Hornaches, in the direction of La Serena 
and Medellin, with a view to keep open the com- 
munication with Marmont by Truxillo. Hill then 
halted at Almendralejos, and Graham took post at 
Zafra, placing Slade's cavalry at Villafranca ; but 
Marmont had moved his sixth division fromTalavera 
towards Castile, through the Puerto de Pico, on 
the 9th, and the four divisions and cavalry quar- 
tered at Toledo had recrossed the Tagus and 
marched over the Guadarama, the whole pointing 
for Valladolid. Thus it was already manifest that 
the army of Portugal would not act in conjunction 
with that of the south. 


Appendix, This fortress has before been described. The 
No. ix. g arr i son composed of French, Hessian, and Spanish 
troops, was now near five thousand strong inclu- 
ding sick. Phillipon had since the last siege made 
himself felt in all directions, for he had continually 
scoured the vicinity of the place, destroyed many 
small bands, carried off cattle, almost from under 
the guns of Elvas and Campo Mayor, and his spies 
extended their researches from Ciudad Rodrigo to 
Lisbon, and from Lisbon to Ayamonte. 

He had also greatly improved the defences of the 
place. An interior retrenchment was made in the 
castle, and many more guns were there mounted ; 
the rear of fort Cristoval was also better secured, 
and a covered communication from the fort itself, to 



the work at the bridge-head, was nearly completed, chap. 
Two ravelins had been constructed on the south 

side of the town, and a third was commenced, to- Marcl ; 
gether with counterguards for the bastions ; but the 
eastern front next the castle, which was in other 
respects the weakest point, was without any out- 
ward protection save the stream of the Rivillas. 
A " cunette" or second ditch had been dug at 
the bottom of the great ditch, which was also in 
some parts filled with water ; the gorge of the 
Pardaleras was enclosed, and that outwork was 
connected with the body of the place, from whence 
powerful batteries looked into it. The three western 
fronts were mined, and on the east, the arch of the 
bridge behind the San Roque, was built up to form 
an inundation, two hundred yards wide, which 
greatly contracted the space by which the place 
could be approached with troops. All the inha- 
bitants had been obliged, on pain of being expelled, 
to lay up food for three months, and two con- 
voys with provisions and ammunition had entered 
the place on the 10th and 16th of February, but 
Phillipon's stores of powder were still inadequate 
to his wants, and he was very scantily supplied 
with shells. 

As the former system of attack against Cristoval 
and the castle, was now impracticable, lord Wel- 
lington desired to assail one of the western fronts 
which would have been a scientific operation ) but 
the engineer represented that he had neither mor- 
tars nor miners, nor enough of guns, nor the means 
of bringing up sufficient stores for such an attack. 
Indeed the want of transport had again obliged the 
allies to draw the stores from Elvas, to the manifest 
hazard of that fortress, and hence, here, as at 

VOL. TV. 2 D 


book Ciudad Rodrigo, time was necessarily paid for, by 
the loss of life ; or rather the crimes of politicians 

March. were atoned for by the blood of the soldiers. 

The plan finally fixed upon, was to attack the 
bastion of Trinidad, because, the counterguard there 
being unfinished, that bastion could be battered 
from the hill on which the Picurina stood. The first 
parallel was therefore to embrace the Picurina, the 
San Roque, and the eastern front, in such a manner 
that the counter batteries there erected, might rake 
and destroy all the defences of the southern fronts 
which bore against the Picurina hill. The Picurina 
itself was to be battered and stormed, and from 
thence the Trinidad and Santa Maria bastions, were 
to be breached ; after this all the guns were to be 
turned against the connecting curtain, which was 
known to be of weak masonry, that a third breach 
might be made, and a storming party employed 
to turn any retrenchments behind the breaches 
in the bastions. In this way the inundation could 
be avoided, and although a French deserter de- 
clared, and truly, that the ditch was there eighteen 
feet deep, such was the general's confidence in his 
troops, and in his own resources for aiding their 
efforts, that he resolved to storm the place without 
blowing in the counterscarp. 

The battering train, directed by major Dickson, 
consisted of fifty-two pieces. This included sixteen 
twenty-four-pound howitzers, for throwing Shrapnel 
shells, but this species of missile, much talked of 
in the army at the time, was little prized by lord 
Wellington, who had early detected its insufficiency, 
save as a common shell ; and partly to avoid ex- 
pense, partly from a dislike to injure the inhabi- 
tants, neither in this, nor in any former siege, did 


he use mortars. Here indeed he could not have chap. 
brought them up, for besides the neglect of the 

Portuguese government, the peasantry and even March. 
the ordenanca employed to move the battering train 
from Alcacer do Sal, although well paid, deserted. 

Of nine hundred gunners present, three hundred 
were British, the rest Portuguese, and there were 
one hundred and fifty sappers volunteers from the 
third divison, who were indeed rather unskilful, 
but of signal bravery. The engineer's pare was 
established behind the heights of St. Michael, and 
the direction of the siege was given to general 
Picton. General Kempt, general Colville, and ge- 
neral Bowes alternately commanded in the trenches. 

In the night of the 17th, eighteen hundred men, 
protected by a guard of two thousand, broke ground 
one hundred and sixty yards from the Picurina. A 
tempest stifled the sound of their pickaxes, and 
though the work was commenced late, a communi- 
cation, four thousand feet in length, was formed, 
and a parallel of six hundred yards three feet deep, 
and three feet six inches wide, was opened. How- 
ever, when the day broke the Picurina was re- 
inforced, and a sharp musketry interspersed with 
discharges from some field-pieces, aided by heavy 
guns from the body of the place, was directed on 
the trenches. 

In the night of the 18th two batteries were 
traced out, the parallel was prolonged both on the 
right and left, and the previous works were im- 
proved. On the other hand the garrison raised 
the parapets of the Picurina, and having lined 
the top of the covered way with sand-bags, planted 
musketeers there, to gall the men in the trenches, 
who replied in a like manner. 

2 d 2 


book The 19th lord Wellington having secret intel- 
xvi • 
L_ligence that a sally was intended, ordered the 

March & uar ds to De reinforced. Nevertheless, at one 
o'clock some cavalry came out by the Talavera 
gate, and thirteen hundred infantry under general 
Vielland, the second in command, filed unobserved 
into the communication between the Picurina and 
the San Roque ; a hundred men were prepared to 
sally from the Picurina itself, and all these troops 
jumping out at once, drove the workmen before 
them, and began to demolish the parallel. Pre- 
vious to this outbreak, the French cavalry forming 
two parties had commenced a sham fight on the 
right of the parallel, and the smaller party pre- 
tending to fly, and answering Portuguese, to the 
challenge of the picquets, were allowed to pass. 
Elated by the success of their stratagem, they then 
galloped to the engineer's pare, which was a thou- 
sand yards in rear of the trenches, and there cut 
down some men, not many, for succour soon came, 
and meanwhile the troops at the parallel having 
rallied upon the relief which had just arrived, 
beat the enemy's infantry back even to the castle. 

In this hot fight the besieged lost above three 
hundred men and officers, the besiegers only one 
hundred and fifty ; but colonel Fletcher, the chief 
engineer, was badly wounded, and several hundred 
entrenching tools were carried off, for Phillipon 
had promised a high price for each ; yet this turned 
out ill, because the soldiers, instead of pursuing 
briskly, dispersed to gather the tools. After the 
action a squadron of dragoons and six field-pieces 
were placed as a reserve-guard behind St. Michael, 
and a signal post was established on the Sierra de 
Venta to give notice of the enemy's motions. 


The weather continued wet and boisterous, and chap. 

the labour of the works was very harassing, but in '. — . 

the night of the 19th the parallel was opened in its ^arch. 
whole length, and the 20th it was enlarged ; yet a 
local obstacle and the flooding of the trenches, ren- 
dered the progress slow. 

In the night of the 20th the parallel was ex- 
tended to the left, across the Seville road, and three 
counter-batteries were commenced ; but they were 
traced, in rear of the parallel, partly because the 
ground was too soft in front to admit of the guns 
moving; partly for safety, because the batteries 
were within three hundred yards of the San Roque, 
and as the parallel, eighteen hundred yards long, 
was only guarded by fourteen hundred men, a few 
bold soldiers might by a sudden rush have succeeded 
in spiking the guns if they had been placed in front 
of the trench. A slight sally was this day re- 
pulsed, and a shoulder was given to the right of 
the parallel to cover that flank. 

The 21st the enemy placed two field-pieces on 
the right bank of the Guadiana, designing to rake 
the trenches, but the shoulder, made the night 
before, baffled the design, and the riflemen's fire 
soon sent the guns away. Indications of a similar 
design against the left flank, from the Pardaleras hill, 
were also observed, and a guard of three hundred 
men with two guns, was posted on that side in 
some broken ground. 

In the night another battery against the San 
Roque was commenced, and the battery against 
the Picurina was finished ; but heavy rain again 
retarded the works, and the besiegers having failed 
in an attempt to drain the lower parts of the pa- 
rallel, by cuts, made an artificial bottom of sand- 


book bags. On the other hand the besieged thinking 
L_ the curtain adjoining the castle was the true object 

M^rch °^ attac k> threw up an earthen entrenchment in 

front, and commenced clearing away the houses 

behind it. A covered communication from the 

Trinidad gate to the San Roque, intended to take 

. M , this supposed attack in reverse, was also com- 

laMarre s rr 

BaTof mence d ; but the labour of digging being too great, 
it was completed by hanging up brown cloth, 
which appeared to be earth, and by this ingenious 
expedient, the garrison passed unseen between 
those points. 

Vauban's maxim, that a perfect investment is 
the first requisite in a siege, had been neglected at 
Badajos to spare labour, but the great master's art 
was soon vindicated by his countrymen. Phillipon 
finding the right bank of the Guadiaua free, made a 
battery in the night for three field-pieces, which at 
daylight raked the trenches, and the shots pitching 
into the parallel, swept it in the most destructive 
manner for the whole day ; there was no remedy, 
and the loss would have been still greater but for 
the soft nature of the ground, which prevented the 
touch and bound of the bullets. Orders were im- 
mediately sent to the fifth division, then at Campo 
Mayor, to invest the place on that side, but these 
troops were distant and misfortunes accumulated. 
In the evening heavy rain filled the trenches, the 
flood of the Guadiana ran the fixed bridge under 
water sank twelve of the pontoons, and broke the 
tackle of the flying bridges ; the provisions of the 
army could not then be brought over, and the guns 
and ammunition being still on the right bank, the 
siege was upon the point of being raised. In a 
few days, however, the river subsided, some Por- 


tuguese craft were brought up to form another fly- chap. 
ing-bridge, the pontoons saved were employed as 

row-boats, and in this manner the communication March. 
was secured, for the rest of the siege, without any 

The 23d the besieged continued to work at the 
entrenchments covering the front next the castle, 
and the besiegers were fixing their platforms, when 
at three o'clock the rain again filled the trenches, 
the earth, being completely saturated with water, 
fell away, the works everywhere crumbled, and 
the attack was entirely suspended. 

The 24th the fifth division invested the place on 
the right bank of the Guadiana, the weather was 
fine, and the batteries were armed with ten twenty- 
fours, eleven eighteens, and seven five-and-a-half- 
inch howitzers. The next day, at eleven o'clock, 
these pieces opened, but they were so vigorously 
answered, that one howitzer was dismounted and 
several artillery and engineer officers were killed. 
Nevertheless the San Roque was silenced, and the 
garrison of the Picurina was so galled by the 
marksmen in the trenches, that no man dared look 
over the parapet ; hence, as the external appearance 
of that fort did not indicate much strength, general 
Kempt was charged to assault it in the night. 

The outward seeming of the Picurina was how- 
ever fallacious, the fort was very strong ; the fronts 
were well covered by the glacis, the flanks were 
deep, and the rampart, fourteen feet perpendicular 
from the bottom of the ditch, was guarded with thick 
slanting pales above ; and from thence to the top 
there were sixteen feet of an earthen slope. A few 
palings had, indeed, been, knocked off at the co- 
vered-way, and the parapet was slightly damaged 


book on that side, but this injury was repaired with 
'._ sand-bags, and the ditch was profound, narrow at 

Mar^h ^ e ^ ^ om J an ^ flanked by four splinter-proof case- 
mates. Seven guns were mounted on the works, 
the entrance to which by the rear was protected 
with three rows of thick paling, the garrison was 
above two hundred strong, and every man had 
two muskets. The top of the rampart was 
garnished with loaded shells to push over, a 
retrenched guard-house formed a second internal 
defence, and finally, some small mines and a loop- 
holed gallery, under the counterscarp, intended to 
take the assailants in rear, were begun but not 

Five hundred men of the third division being 
assembled for the attack, general Kempt ordered two 
hundred, under major Rudd of the sevent}'-seventh, 
to turn the fort on the left ; an equal force, under 
major Shaw of the seventy-fourth, to turn the fort by 
the right; and one hundred from each of these bodies 
were directed to enter the communication with San 
Roque and intercept any succours coming from the 
town. The flanking columns were to make a joint at- 
tack on the fort, and the hundred men remaining, were 
placed under captain Powis of the eighty- third, to 
form a reserve. The engineers, Holloway, Stanway, 
and Gips, with twenty-four sappers bearing hatchets 
and ladders, guided these columns, and fifty men of 
the light division, likewise provided with axes, were 
to move out of the trenches at the moment of attack. 


The night was fine, the arrangements clearly and 


skilfully made, and about nine o'clock the two chap. 

flanking bodies moved forward. The distance was 
short, and the troops quickly closed on the fort, March. 
which black and silent before, now seemed one 
mass of fire ; then the assailants running up to the 
palisades in the rear, with undaunted courage 
endeavoured to break through, and when the de- 
structive musketry of the French, and the thickness 
of the pales, rendered their efforts nugatory, they 
turned against the faces of the work and strove to 
break in there ; but the depth of the ditch and the 
slanting stakes at the top of the brick-work again 
baffled them. 

At this time, the enemy shooting fast, and dan- 
gerously, the crisis appeared imminent, and Kempt 
sent the reserve headlong against the front ; thus 
the fight was continued strongly, the carnage 
became terrible, and a battalion coming out from 
the town to the succour of the fort, was encoun- 
tered and beaten by the party on the communica- 
tion. The guns of Badajos, and of the castle now 
opened, the guard of the trenches replied with mus- 
ketry, rockets were thrown up by the besieged, and 
the shrill sound of alarm bells, mixing with the 
shouts of the combatants, increased the tumult. 
Still the Picurina sent out streams of fire, by the light 
of which, dark figures were seen furiously strug- 
gling on the ramparts ; for Powis first escaladed the 
place in front where the artillery had beaten down 
the pales, and the other assailants had thrown their 
ladders on the flanks in the manner of bridges, from 
the brink of the ditch to the slanting stakes, and all 
were fighting hand to hand with the enemy. Mean- Appendix, 
while the axe-men of the light division, compassing secti!m2, 
the fort like prowling wolves, discovered the gate, 


book and hewing it down, broke in by the rear. Never- 
theless the struggle continued. Powis, Holloway, 

March. Grips, and Oates, of the eighty-eighth, fell wounded 
on or beyond the rampart ; Nixon of the fifty- 
second was shot two yards within the gate ; Shaw, 
Rudd, and nearly all the other officers had fallen 
outside ; and it was not until half the garrison were 
killed, that Gaspar Thiery, the commandant, and 
eighty-six men, surrendered, while some, not many, 
rushing out of the gate, endeavoured to cross the 
inundation and were drowned. 

The French governor hoped to have delayed the 
siege five or six days by the resistance of Picurina, 
and had the assault been a day later, this would 
have happened ; for the loop-holed gallery in the 
counter-scarp, and the mines, would then have 
been completed, and the body of the work was too 
well covered by the glacis to be quickly ruined by 
fire. His calculations were baffled by this heroic 
assault, which lasted an hour, and cost four officers 
and fifty men killed, fifteen officers and two hun- 
dred and fifty men wounded ; and so vehement 
was the fight throughout, that the garrison either 
forgot, or had not time to roll over the shells 
and combustibles arranged on the ramparts. Phil- 
lipon did not conceal the danger accruing to Ba- 
dajos from the loss of the Picurina, but he stimu- 
lated his soldiers' courage, by calling to their recol- 
lection, how infinitely worse than death it was, to 
be the inmate of an English hulk ! an appeal which 
must have been deeply felt, for the annals of civilized 
nations, furnish nothing more inhuman towards cap- 
tives of war, than the prison-ships of England. 

When the Picurina was taken, three battalions of 
reserve advanced to secure it, and though a great 


turmoil and firing from the town, continued until chap. 
midnight, a lodgment in the works, and a commu- 



nication with the first parallel, were established, and March, 
the second parallel was commenced. However at 
day-light the redoubt was so overwhelmed with 
fire, from the town, that no troops could remain in 
it, and the lodgment was entirely destroyed. In the 
evening the sappers effected another lodgment on 
the flanks, the second parallel was then opened 
in its whole length, and the next day the counter- 
batteries on the right of Picurina exchanged a 
vigorous fire with the town ; but one of the be- 
siegers' guns was dismounted, and the Portuguese 
gunners, from inexperience, produced less effect on 
the defences than was expected. 

In the night of the 27th a new communication 
from the first parallel to the Picurina was made, 
and three breaching-batteries were traced out. The 
first to contain twelve twenty-four pounders, occu- 
pied the space between the Picurina and the inun- 
dation, and was to breach the right face of the 
Trinidad bastion. The second, to contain eight 
eighteen pounders, was on the site of the Picurina, 
and was to breach the left flank of the Santa Maria 
bastion. The third, constructed on the prolonged 
line of the front to be attacked, contained three 
Shrapnel howitzers, to scour the ditch and prevent 
the garrison working in it ; for Phillipon had now 
discovered the true line of attack, and had set 
strong parties in the night, to raise the counter- 
guard of the Trinidad and the imperfect ravelin 
covering the menaced front. 

At day-break these works being well furnished 
with gabions and sand-bags, were lined with mus- 
queteers, who severely galled the workmen em- 


book ployed on the breaching batteries and the artillery 
'— practice also was brisk on both sides. Two of the 

Ma-ch besiegers' guns were dismounted ; the gabions 
placed in front of the batteries to protect the work- 
men were knocked over, and the musquetry then 
became so destructive that the men were withdrawn 
and threw up earth from the inside. 

In the night of the 27th the second parallel was 
extended to the right, with the view of raising 
batteries, to ruin the San Roque, to destroy the 
dam which held up the inundation, and to breach 
the curtain behind ; but the Talavera road proved 
so hard, and the moon shone so brightly, that the 
labourers were quite exposed and the work was re- 

On the 28th the screen of gabions before the 
batteries, was restored and the workmen resumed 
their labours outside ; the parallel was then im- 
proved, and the besieged withdrew their guns from 
San Roque ; but their marksmen still shot from 
thence with great exactness, and the plunging fire 
from the castle dismounted two howitzers in one 
of the counter-batteries which was therefore dis- 
mantled. The enemy had also during the night 
observed the tracing string, which marked the di- 
rection of the sap in front of San Roque, and a 
daring fellow creeping out just before the workmen 
arrived, brought it in the line of the castle fire, 
whereby some loss was sustained ere the false di- 
rection was discovered. 

In the night the dismantled howitzer battery 
was re-armed, with twenty-four pounders, to play 
on the San Roque, and a new breaching battery 
was traced out on the site of the Picurina, against 
the flank of the Santa Maria bastion. The second 


parallel was also carried by the sap across the Ta- chap. 


lavera road, and a trench was digged, for riflemen, 

in front of the batteries. M^rch 

The 29th a slight sally, made on the right bank 
of the river, was repulsed by the Portuguese, but 
the sap at the San Roque was ruined by the enemy's 
fire, and the besieged continued to raise the 
counter-guard and ravelin of the Trinidad and to 
strengthen the front attacked. On the other hand 
the besiegers during the night carried the sap 
over the Talavera road, and armed two breaching 
batteries, with eighteen pounders, which the next 
day opened against the flank of Santa Maria ; but 
they made little impression, and the explosion of 
an expense magazine killed many men and hurt 

While the siege was thus proceeding Soult 
having little fear for the town, but expecting a 
great battle, was carefully organizing a powerful 
force to unite with Drouet and Daricau. Those 
generals had endeavoured to hold the district of La 
Serena with the view of keeping open the commu- 
nication with Marmont by Medellin and Truxillo ; 
but Graham and Hill marched against their flanks 
and forced them into the Morena by the Cordova 
roads ; and on the other side of the country Morillo 
and Penne-Villemur, were lying close on the lower 
Guadiana waiting their opportunity to fall on 
Seville when Soult should advance. Nor were there 
wanting other combinations to embarrass and delay 
the French marshal ; for in February, general 
Montes being detached, by Ballesteros, from San 
Roque, had defeated Maransin on the Guadajore 
river, driving him from Cartama into Malaga. After 
this the whole of the Spanish army was assembled 


book in the Ronda hills, with a view to fall on Seville by 

L. the left of the Guadiana while Morillo assailed it 

1812. on foe right of that river. This had obliged Soult 
to send troops towards Malaga, and fatally delayed 
his march to Estremadura. 

Meanwhile Marmont was concentrating his 
army in the Salamanca country, and it was ru- 
moured that he meant to attack Ciudad Rodrigo. 
Lord Wellington was somewhat disturbed by this 
information; he knew indeed that the flooding of 
the rivers in the north, would prevent a blockade, 
and he was also assured that Marmont had not 
yet obtained a battering train. But the Spanish 
generals and engineers had neglected the new 
works and repairs of Ciudad Rodrigo ; even the 
provisions at St. Joa de Pesquiera had not been 
brought up ; the fortress had only thirty days' sup- 
ply, Almeida was in as bad a state, and the grand 
project of invading Andalusia was likely to be 
baulked by these embarrassments. 

On the 30th Soult's advance from Cordova 
being decided, the fifth division was brought 
over the Guadiana as a reserve to the covering 
army ; but Power's Portuguese brigade, with some 
cavalry, of the same nation, still maintained the in- 
vestment on the right bank, the siege was urged 
forward very rapidly, forty-eight pieces of artillery 
were in constant play, and the sap against St. 
Roque advanced. The enemy was equally active, 
his fire was very destructive, and his progress in 
raising the ravelin and counter-guard of the front 
attacked was very visible. 

The 1st of April the sap was pushed close to the 
San Roque, the Trinidad bastion crumbled under 
the stroke of the bullet, and the flank of the Santa 



Maria, which was casemated and had hitherto re- chap. 

sisted the batteries, also began to yield. The 2d 

the face of the Trinidad was very much broken, A p ril '. 
but at the Santa Maria the casemates being laid 
open, the bullets were lost in their cavities, and 
the garrison commenced a retrenchment to cut off 
the whole of the attacked front, from the town. 

In the night a new battery against the San Roque 
was armed, and two officers with some sappers 
gliding behind that out-work, gagged the sentinel, 
placed powder barrels and a match against the dam 
of the inundation, and retired undiscovered, but 
the explosion did not destroy the dam, and the in- 
undation remained. Nor did the sap make pro- 
gress, because of the French musketeers; for 
though the marksmen set against them slew many 
they were reinforced by means of a raft with 
parapets, which crossed the inundation, and men 
also passed by the cloth communication from the 
Trinidad gate. 

On the 3d some guns were turned against 
the curtain behind the San Roque, but the 
masonry proved hard, ammunition was scarce, 
and as a breach there would have been useless, 
while the inundation remained, the fire was 
soon discontinued. The two breaches in the bas- 
tion were now greatly enlarged and the besieged 
assiduously laboured at the retrenchments behind 
them, and converted the nearest houses and 
garden walls into a third line of defence. All the 
houses behind the front next the castle were also 
thrown down, and a battery of five guns, intended 
to flank the ditch and breach of the Trinidad, was 
commenced on the castle hill, but outside the wall ; 
the besiegers therefore traced out a counter-battery. 


rook of fourteen Shrapnel howitzers, to play upon that 

— — _ point during the assault. 

jf 8 ^* The crisis of the siege was now approaching 
rapidly. The breaches were nearly practicable, 
Soult, having effected a junction with Drouet and 
Daricau, was advancing; and as the allies were 
not in sufficient force to assault the place and give 
battle at the same time, it was resolved to leave two 
divisions in the trenches, and to fight at Albuera 
with the remainder. Graham therefore fell back 
towards that place, and Hill having destroyed the 
bridge at Merida, marched from the Upper Gua- 
diana to Talavera Real. 

Time being now, as in war it always is, a great 
object, the anxiety on both sides redoubled ; but 
Soult was still atLlerena, when on the morning of the 
5th the breaches were declared practicable, and the 
assault ordered for that evening. Leith's division 
was even recalled to the camp to assist, when a 
careful personal examination of the enemy's re- 
trenchments caused some doubt in lord Wellington's 
mind, and he delayed the storm, until a third 
breach, as originally projected, should be formed 
in the curtain between the bastions of Trinidad and 
Maria. This could not, however, be commenced 
before morning, and during the night the enemy's 
workmen laboured assiduously at their retrenchments, 
regardless of the showers of grape with which 
the besiegers' batteries scoured the ditch and the 
breach. But the 6th, the besiegers' guns being all 
turned against the curtain, the bad masonry 
crumbled rapidly away, in two hours a yawn- 
ing breach appeared, and Wellington, having again 
examined the points of attack in person renewed 
the order for the assault. Then the soldiers eagerly 



made themselves ready for a combat, so fiercely chap. 

fought, so terribly won, so dreadful in all its cir- _ 

cumstances, that posterity can scarcely be expected j^ 8 *?^ 
to credit the tale; but many are still alive who 
know that it is true. 

The British general was so sensible of Phillipon's 
firmness and of the courage of his garrison, that he 
spared them the affront of a summons, yet seeing 
the breach strongly entrenched, and the enemy's 
flank fire, still powerful, he would not in this dread 
crisis, trust his fortune to a single effort. Eighteen 
thousand daring soldiers burned for the signal of 
attack, and as he was unwilling to lose the service 
of any, to each division he gave a task such as few 
generals would have the hardihood even to con- 

On the right Picton's division was to file out of 
the trenches, to cross the Rivillas river, and to 
scale the castle walls, which were from eighteen 
to twenty-four feet in height, furnished with all 
means of destruction, and so narrow at top, that 
the defenders could easily reach and as easily over- 
turn the ladders. 

On the left, Leith's division was to make a false 
attack on the Pardaleras, and a real assault on 
the distant bastion of San Vincente, where the 
glacis was mined, the ditch deep, the scarp thirty 
feet high, and the parapet garnished with bold 
troops well provided ; for Phillipon, following his 
old plan, had three loaded muskets placed beside 
each man, that the first fire might be quick and 

In the centre, the fourth and light divisions 
under general Colville, and colonel Andrew Bar- 

VOL. IV. 2 E 


book nard, were to march against the breaches. They 
xvi. . & ... 
were furnished like the third and fifth divisions 

April! w ^ n ladders and axes, and were preceded by 
storming parties of five hundred men each with 
their respective forlorn hopes. The light division 
was to assault the bastion of Santa Maria; the 
fourth division to assault the Trinidad, and the 
curtain ; and the columns were divided into storm- 
ing and firing parties, the former to enter the ditch, 
the latter to keep the crest of the glacis. 

Besides these attacks, major Wilson of the forty- 
eighth was to storm the San Roque with the guards 
of the trenches, and on the other side of the 
Guadiana, general Power was to make a feint on 
the bridge-head. 

At first only one brigade, of the third division, 
was to have attacked the castle, but just before 
the hour fixed upon, a sergeant of sappers having 
deserted from the enemy, informed Wellington that 
there was but one communication from the castle to 
the town, whereupon he ordered the whole division 
to advance together. 

This was the outline of the plan, but many nice 
arrangements filled it up, and some were followed, 
some disregarded, for it is seldom that all things 
are strictly attended to in a desperate fight. Nor 
were the enemy idle, for while it was yet twilight 
some French cavalry issued from the Pardaleras, 
escorting an officer who endeavoured to look into 
the trenches, with a view to ascertain if an assault 
was intended ; but the picquet on that side jumped 
up, and firing as it run, drove him and his escort 
back into the works. Then the darkness fell and 
the troops only awaited the signal. 



The night was dry but clouded, the air thick 
with watery exhalations from the rivers, the ram- 
parts, and the trenches unususally still ; yet a low 
murmur pervaded the latter, and in the former, 
lights were seen to flit here and there, while the 
deep voices of the sentinels at times proclaimed, 
that all was well in Badajos. The French, con- 
fiding in Phillipon's direful skill, watched, from 
their lofty station, the approach of enemies, whom 
they had twice before baffled, and now hoped to 
drive a third time blasted and ruined from the 
walls ; the British, standing in deep columns, 
were as eager to meet that fiery destruction as the 
others were to pour it down ; and both were alike 
terrible for their strength, their discipline, and the 
passions awakened in their resolute hearts. 

Former failures there were to avenge, and on 
either side, such leaders as left no excuse for weak- 
ness in the hour of trial ; and the possession of 
Badajos was become a point of honour, personal 
with the soldiers of each nation. But the strong- 
desire for glory was, in the British, dashed with a 
hatred of the citizens on an old grudge, and recent 
toil and hardship, with much spilling of blood, had 
made many incredibly savage : for these things 
render the noble-minded indeed, averse to cruelty, 
but harden the vulgar spirit. Numbers also, like 
Caesar's centurion who could not forget the plunder 
of Avaricum, were heated with the recollection of 
Ciudad Roclrigo, and thirsted for spoil. Thus every 
spirit found a cause of excitement, the wondrous 
power of discipline bound the whole together as 

2 e 2 





book with a band of iron, and, in the pride of arms, 


none doubted their might, to bear down every ob- 
\mii stacle that man could oppose to their fury. 

At ten o'clock, the castle, the San Roque, the 
breaches, the Pardaleras, the distant bastion of 
San Vincente, and the bridge-head on the other 
side of the Guadiana, were to have been simulta- 
neously assailed, and it was hoped that the strength 
of the enemy would shrivel within that fiery girdle. 
But many are the disappointments of war. An un- 
foreseen accident delayed the attack of the fifth di- 
vision; and a lighted carcass, thrown from the castle, 
falling close to where the men of the third division 
were drawn up, discovered their array, and obliged 
them to anticipate the signal by half an hour. Then, 
every thing being suddenly disturbed, the double 
columns of the fourth and light divisions also moved 
silently and swiftly against the breaches, and the 
guard of the trenches, rushing forward with a shout, 
encompassed the San Roque with fire and broke in 
so violently that scarcely any resistance was made. 

But a sudden blaze of light and the rattling of 
musketry indicated the commencement of a most 
vehement combat at the castle. There general 
Kempt, for Picton hurt by a fall, in the camp, and 
expecting no change in the hour, was not present, 
there general Kempt, I say, led the third division ; 
he had passed the Rivillas, in single files by a narrow 
bridge, under a terrible musketry, and then reform- 
ing, and running up the rugged hill, had reached 
the foot of the castle when he fell severely wounded, 
and being carried back to the trenches met Picton 
who hastened forward to take the command. 
Meanwhile his troops spreading along the front 
reared their heavy ladders, some against the lofty 



castle, some against the adjoining front on the chap. 
left, and with incredible courage ascended amidst 

181 2 

showers of heavy stones, logs of wood, and burst- Apr Jj* 
ing shells rolled off the parapet, while from the 
flanks the enemy plied his musketry with a fearful 
rapidity, and in front, with pikes and bayonets, 
stabbed the leading assailants or pushed the ladders 
from the walls ; and all this attended with deafening 
shouts, and the crash of breaking ladders, and the 
shrieks of crushed soldiers answering to the sullen 
stroke of the falling weights. 

Still, swarming round the remaining ladders, 
these undaunted veterans strove who should first 
climb, until all being overturned, the French 
shouted victory, and the British, baffled, but un- 
tamed, fell back a few paces, and took shelter under 
the rugged edge of the hill. Here when the broken 
ranks were somewhat re-formed the heroic co- 
lonel Ridge, springing forward, called, with a sten- 
torian voice, on his men to follow, and, seizing 
a ladder, once more raised it against the castle, yet 
to the right of the former attack, where the wall 
was lower, and an embrasure offered some facility. 
A second ladder was soon placed alongside of the 
first, by the grenadier officer Canch, and the next 
instant he and Ridge were on the rampart, the 
shouting troops pressed after them, the garrison 
amazed, and in a manner surprised, were driven 
fighting through the double gate into the town, and 
the castle was won. A reinforcement, sent from 
the French reserve, then came up, a sharp action 
followed, both sides fired through the gate, and 
the enemy retired, but Ridge fell, and no man 
died that night with more glory — yet many died, 
and there was much glory. 

During these events, the tumult at the breaches 


book was suc h as if the very earth had been rent asunder 
and its central fires were bursting upwards uncon- 

1 ft 1 9 

April, trolled. The two divisions had reached the glacis, 
just as the firing at the castle had commenced, and 
the flash of a single musket discharged from the 
covered way as a signal shewed them that the 
French were ready; yet no stir was heard, and dark- 
ness covered the breaches. Some hay-packs were 
then thrown, some ladders were placed, and the 
forlorn hopes and storming parties of the light 
division, about five hundred in all, had descended 
into the ditch without opposition, when a bright 
flame shooting upwards displayed all the terrors of 
the scene. The ramparts crowded with dark figures 
and glittering arms, were seen on the one side, and 
on the other, the red columns of the British, deep and 
broad, were coming on like streams of burning lava; 
it was the touch of the magician's wand, for a crash 
of thunder followed, and with incredible violence 
the storming parties were dashed to pieces by the 
explosion of hundreds of shells and powder-barrels. 
For an instant the light division stood on the 
brink of the ditch, amazed at the terrific sight, 
then, with a shout that matched even the sound of 
the explosion, flew down the ladders, or disdaining 
their aid, leaped, reckless of the depth, into the 
gulf below; and nearly at the same moment, amidst 
a blaze of musketry that dazzled the eyes, the fourth 
division came running in and descended with a 
Appendix, like fury. There were however only five ladders 
section 2. for both columns, which were close together, and a 
deep cut made in the bottom of the ditch, as far 
as the counter-guard of the Trinidad, was filled 
with water from the inundation ; into this watery 
snare the head of the fourth division fell, and it is 
said that above a hundred of the fuzileers, the men 


of Albuera, were there smothered. Those who fol- chap. 

lowed, checked not, but as if such a disaster had 

been expected, turned to the left, and thus came April ' 
upon the face of the unfinished ravelin, which, 
being rough and broken, was mistaken for the 
breach, and instantly covered with men ; yet 
a wide and deep chasm was still between them 
and the ramparts from whence came a deadly fire 
wasting their ranks. Thus baffled, they also com- 
menced a rapid discharge of musketry, and dis- 
order ensued ; for the men of the light division, 
whose conducting engineer had been disabled early, 
and whose flank was confined by an unfinished 
ditch intended to cut off the bastion of Santa Maria, 
rushed towards the breaches of the curtain and the 
Trinidad, which were indeed before them, but which 
the fourth division were destined to storm. 

Great was the confusion, for now the ravelin 
was quite crowded with men of both divisions, 
and while some continued to fire, others jumped 
down and ran towards the breach, many also 
passed between the ravelin and the counter- 
guard of the Trinidad, the two divisions got mixed, 
and the reserves, which should have remained at 
the quarries, also came pouring in, until the ditch 
was quite filled, the rear still crowding forward, 
and all cheering vehemently. The enemy's shouts 
also, were loud and terrible, and the bursting of 
shells and of grenades, the roaring of the guns from 
the flanks, answered by the iron howitzers from the 
battery of the parallel, the heavy roll and horrid 
explosion of the powder-barrels, the whizzing flight 
of the blazing splinters, the loud exhortations of the 
officers, and the continual clatter of the muskets, 
made a maddening din. 



book Now a multitude bounded up the great breach 
as if driven by a whirlwind, but across the 

-J Q -t i\ 

April. to P glittered a range of sword-blades, sharp- 
pointed, keen-edged on both sides, and firmly fixed 
in ponderous beams, which were chained toge- 
ther and set deep in the ruins ; and for ten feet 
in front, the ascent was covered with loose 
planks, studded with sharp iron points, on which 
the feet of the foremost being set the planks 
moved, and the unhappy soldiers, falling for- 
ward on the spikes, rolled down upon the ranks be- 
hind. Then the Frenchmen, shouting at the success 
of their stratagem, and leaping forward, plied their 
shot with terrible rapidity, for every man had 
several muskets; and each musket in. addition to its 
ordinary charge contained a small cylinder of wood 
stuck full of leaden slugs, which scattered like hail 
when they were discharged. 

Again the assailants rushed up the breaches, and 
again the sword-blades, immoveable and impass- 
able, stopped their charge, and the hissing shells 
and thundering powder-barrels exploded unceas- 
ingly. Hundreds of men had fallen, and hundreds 
more were dropping, but still the heroic officers 
called aloud for new trials, and sometimes followed 
by many, sometimes by a few, ascended the ruins ; 
and so furious were the men themselves, that in one 
of these charges, the rear strove to push the foremost 
on to the sword-blades, willing even to make a 
bridge of their writhing bodies, but the others frus- 
trated the attempt by dropping clown ; and men fell 
so fast from the shot, that it was hard to know who 
went down voluntarily, who were stricken, and many 
stooped unhurt that never rose again. Vain also 
would it have been to break through the sword- 


blades, for the trench and parapet behind the chap. 


breach were finished, and the assailants, crowded 
into even a narrower space than the ditch was, j£j£ 
would still have been separated from their enemies, 
and the slaughter would have continued. 

At the beginning of this dreadful conflict, colonel 
Andrew Barnard had with prodigious efforts sepa- 
rated his division from the other, and preserved some 
degree of military array ; but now the tumult was 
such, that no command could be heard distinctly, ex- 
cept by those close at hand, and the mutilated car- 
casses heaped on each other, and the wounded, strug- 
gling to avoid being trampled upon, broke the forma- 
tions ; order was impossible! Yet officers of all sta- 
tions, followed more or less numerously by the men, 
were seen to start out, as if struck by a sudden 
madness, and rush into the breach, which yawning 
and glittering with steel, semed like the mouth of 
some huge dragon belching forth smoke and flame. 
In one of these attempts, colonel Macleocl of the 
forty-third, a young man, whose feeble body would 
have been quite unfit for war, if it had not been 
sustained by an unconquerable spirit, was killed. 
Wherever his voice was heard, there his soldiers 
gathered, and with such a strong resolution did he 
lead them up the fatal ruins, that when one behind 
him, in falling, plunged a bayonet into his back, he 
complained not, and continuing his course was shot 
dead within a yard of the sword-blades. But 
there was no want of gallant leaders, or desperate 

Two hours spent in these vain efforts convinced 
the soldiers that the breach of the Trinidad was 
impregnable ; and as the opening in the curtain, al- 
though less strong, was retired, and the approach to 


book it impeded by deep holes, and cuts made in the ditch, 

L_ the troops did not much notice it after the par- 

j^j* tial failure of one attack which had been made early. 
Gathering in dark groups and leaning on their 
muskets, they looked up with sullen desperation at 
the Trinidad, while the enemy stepping out on the 
ramparts, and aiming their shots by the light of the 
fire-balls which they threw over, asked, as their 
victims fell, " Why they did not come into Badajos?" 
In this dreadful situation, while the dead 
were lying in heaps and others continually falling, 
the wounded crawling about to get some shelter 
from the merciless fire above, and withal a sick- 
ening stench from the burnt flesh of the slain, 
captain Nicholas, of the engineers, was observed 

Nowlicut- ^ ' ° . . . 

coi. shaw bv Mr. Shaw, of the forty- third, making: incre- 

Kennedy. \ J . . . 

dible efforts to force his way with a few men into 
the Santa Maria bastion. Shaw having col- 
lected about fifty soldiers of all regiments joined 
him, and although there was a deep cut along 
the foot of this breach also, it was instantly 
passed, and these two young officers at the head 
of their gallant band, rushed up the slope of the 
ruins ; but when they had gained two-thirds of 
the ascent, a concentrated fire of musketry and 
grape, dashed nearly the whole dead to the 
earth ! Nicholas was mortally wounded, and the 
intrepid Shaw stood alone ! After this no further 
effort was made at any point, and the troops 
remained passive, but unflinching, beneath the 
enemy's shot, which streamed without inter- 
mission ; for, of the riflemen on the glacis, many 
leaping early into the ditch had joined in the as- 
sault, and the rest, raked by a cross fire of grape 
from the distant bastions, baffled in their aim by 


the smoke and flames from the explosions, and too chap. 
few in number, had entirely failed to quell the 

French musketry. ^^ 

About midnight, when two thousand brave men 
had fallen, Wellington, who was on a height close 
to the quarries, sent orders for the remainder to 
retire and re-form for a second assault ; for he had 
just then heard that the castle was taken, and 
thinking the enemy would still hold out in the 
town, was resolved to assail the breaches again. 
This retreat from the ditch was, however, not 
effected without further carnage and confusion, for 
the French fire never slackened, and a cry arose 
that the enemy were making a sally from the distant 
flanks, which caused a rush towards the ladders ; 
then the groans and lamentations of the wounded 
who could not move, and expected to be slain, 
increased, many officers who had not heard of 
the order, endeavoured to stop the soldiers from 
going back, and some would even have removed the 
ladders but were unable to break the crowd. 

All this time the third division was lying close 
in the castle, and either from a fear of risking the 
loss of a point which ensured the capture of the 
place, or that the egress was too difficult, made no 
attempt to drive away the enemy from the breaches. 
On the other side however the fifth division had 
commenced the false attack on the Pardaleras, 
and on the right of the Guadiana, the Portuguese 
were sharply engaged at the bridge ; thus the 
town was girdled with fire, for general Walker's 
brigade having passed on during the feint on the 
Pardaleras, was escalading the distant bastion of 
San Vincente. His troops had advanced along the 
banks of the river, and reached the French guard- 


book house, at the barrier-gate, undiscovered, for the 
- ripple of the waters smothered the sound of their 


April, footsteps; but just then the explosion at the 
breaches took place, the moon shone out, and the 
French sentinels, discovering the columns, fired. The 
British troops immediately springing forward under 
a sharp musketry began to hew down the wooden 
barrier at the covered way, while the Portuguese, 
being panic-stricken, threw down the scaling lad- 
ders. Nevertheless the others snatched them up 
again, and forcing the barrier, jumped into the 
ditch; but the guiding engineer officer was killed, 
and there was a cunette, which embarrassed the 
column, and when the foremost men succeeded in 
rearing the ladders, the latter were found too short, 
for the walls were generally above thirty feet high. 
Meanwhile the fire of the French was deadly, a 
small mine was sprung beneath the soldiers' feet, 
beams of wood and live shells were rolled over on 
their heads, showers of grape from the flank swept 
the ditch, and man after man dropped dead from 
the ladders. 

Fortunately some of the defenders having been 
called away to aid in recovering the castle, the ram- 
parts were not entirely manned, and the assailants, 
■ having discovered a corner of the bastion where the 
scarp was only twenty feet high, placed three ladders 
there under an embrasure which had no gun and was 
Appendix, only stopped with a gabion. Some men got up, 
section 2. but with difficulty, for the ladders were still too 
short, and the first man who gained the top was 
pushed up by his comrades and then drew others 
after him, until many had gained the summit ; and 
though the French shot heavily against them, from 
both flanks and from a house in front, they thick- 


ened and could not be driven back ; half the chap. 



fourth regiment entered the town itself to dis- 
lodge the enemy from the houses, while the others jJ?J£ 
pushed along the rampart towards the breach, and 
by dint of hard fighting successively won three 

In the last of these combats general Walker leap- 
ing forward, sword in hand, at the moment when 
one of the enemy's cannoneers was discharging a gun, 
fell covered with so many wounds that it was won- 
derful how he could survive, and some of the sol- 
diers immediately after, perceiving a lighted match 
on the ground, cried out a mine ! At that word, 
such is the power of imagination, those troops 
whom neither the strong barrier, nor the deep 
ditch, nor the high walls, nor the deadly fire of the 
enemy could stop, staggered back appalled by a 
chimera of their own raising, and in this disorder 
a French reserve, under general Viellande, drove on 
them with a firm and rapid charge, and pitching 
some men over the walls, and killing others out- 
right, again cleansed the ramparts even to the 
San Vincente. There however Leith had placed 
colonel Nugent with a battalion cf the thirty- 
eighth as a reserve, and when the French came up, 
shouting and slaying all before them, this battalion, 
about two hundred strong, arose, and with one close 
volley destroyed them. 

Then the panic ceased, the soldiers rallied, and 
in compact order once more charged along the 
walls towards the breaches, but the French, al- 
though turned on both flanks and abandoned by 
fortune, did not yet yield ; and meanwhile the 
detachment of the fourth regiment which had 
entered the town when the San Vincente was first 


hook carried, was strangely situated, for the streets were 


empty and brilliantly illuminated, and no person 

April was seen ' y et a ^ ow ^ uzz anc ^ wn i s P er were heard 
around, lattices were now and then gently opened, 
and from time to time shots were fired from under- 
neath the doors of the houses by the Spaniards. 
However, the troops with bugles sounding, ad- 
vanced towards the great square of the town, and 
in their progress captured several mules going with 
ammunition to the breaches ; but the square itself 
was as empty and silent as the streets, and the 
houses as bright with lamps ; a terrible enchant- 
ment seemed to be in operation, for they saw no- 
thing but light, and heard only the low whispers 
close around them, while the tumult at the breaches 
was like the crashing thunder. 

There, indeed, the fight was still plainly raging, 
and hence, quitting the square, they attempted to 
take the garrison in reverse, by attacking the ram- 
parts from the town-side, but they were received 
with a rolling musketry, driven back with loss, 
and resumed their movement through the streets. 
At last the breaches were abandoned by the French, 
other parties entered the place, desultory combats 
took place in various parts, and finally general 
Viellande, and Phillipon who was wounded, seeing 
all ruined, passed the bridge with a few hundred 
soldiers, and entered San Cristoval, where they all 
surrendered early the next morning upon summons 
to lord Fitzroy Somerset, who had with great rea- 
diness pushed through the town to the draw-bridge 
ere they had time to organize further resistance. 
But even in the moment of ruin the night before, 
the noble governor had sent some horsemen out 
from the fort to carry the news to Soult's army, 



and they reached him in time to prevent a greater chap. 

Now commenced that wild and desperate wick- A nl " 
edness, which tarnished the lustre of the soldier's he- 
roism. All indeed were not alike, for hundreds risked 
and many lost their lives in striving to stop the 
violence, but the madness generally prevailed, and 
as the worst men were leaders here, all the dreadful 
passions of human nature were displayed. Shame- 
less rapacity, brutal intemperance, savage lust, 
cruelty, and murder, shrieks and piteous lamenta- 
tions, groans, shouts, imprecations, the hissing of 
fires bursting from the houses, the crashing of 
doors and windows, and the reports of muskets 
used in violence, resounded for two days and nights 
in the streets of Badajos ! on the third, when the 
city was sacked, when the soldiers were exhausted 
by their own excesses, the tumult rather subsided 
than was quelled. The wounded men were then 
looked to, the dead disposed of! 

Five thousand men and officers fell during 
this siege, and of these, including seven hundred 
Portuguese, three thousand five hundred had 
been stricken in the assault, sixty officers and 
more than seven hundred men being slain on the 
spot. The five generals, Kempt, Harvey, Bowes, 
Colville, and Picton were wounded, the first three 
severely; about six hundred men and officers fell 
in the escalade of San Vincente, as many at the 
castle, and more than two thousand at the breaches, 
each division there losing twelve hundred ! And 
how deadly the strife was, at that point, may be 
gathered from this, the forty-third and fifty-second 
regiments, of the light division, alone lost more 



book men than the seven regiments of the third division 


engaged at the castle ! 

Apri j' Let any man picture to himself this frightful 
carnage taking place in a space of less than a hun- 
dred square yards. Let him consider that the slain 
died not all suddenly, nor by one manner of death ; 
that some perished by steel, some by shot, some 
by water, that some were crushed and mangled by 
heavy weights, some trampled upon, some dashed 
to atoms by the fiery explosions; that for hours this 
destruction was endured without shrinking, and 
that the town was won at last, let any man con- 
sider this and he must admit that a British army 
bears with it an awful power. And false would it 
be to say that the French were feeble men, for the 
garrison stood and fought manfully and with good 
discipline behaving worthily. Shame there was none 
on any side. Yet who shall do justice to the bravery 
of the soldiers ? the noble emulation of the officers ? 
Who shall measure out the glory of Ridge, of 
Macleod, of Nicholas, or of O'Hare, of the ninety- 
fifth, who perished on the breach, at the head of 
the stormers, and with him nearly all the volunteers 
for that desperate service ? Who shall describe the 
Appendix, springing valour of that Portuguese grenadier who 
Section i was killed the foremost man at the Santa Maria ? 
or the martial fury of that desperate soldier of the 
ninety-fifth, who, in his resolution to win, thrust 
himself beneath the chained sword-blades, aid 
there suffered the enemy to dash his head to pieces 
with the ends of their muskets ? Who can suffi- 
ciently honour the intrepidity of Walker, of Shaw, 
of Canch, or the resolution of Ferguson of the 
forty-third, who having in former assaults received 


two deep wounds, was here, with his hurts still open, chap. 

leading the stormers of his regiment, the third time ! — 

a volunteer, and the third time wounded ! Nor j^jj' 
would I be understood to select these as pre- 
eminent, many and signal were the other examples 
of unbounded devotion, some known, some that 
will never be known ; for in such a tumult much 
passed unobserved, and often the observers fell 
themselves ere they could bear testimony to what 
they saw; but no age, no nation ever sent forth 
braver troops to battle than those who stormed 

When the extent of the night's havoc was made 
known to lord Wellington, the firmness of his 
nature gave way for a moment, and the pride of 
conquest yielded to a passionate burst of grief for 
the loss of his gallant soldiers. 

vol, iv. 2 F 



book The English general having now achieved the 
xvi & 

second part of his project, was desirous to fight a 
^812. g rea t battle in Andalusia, which would have been 
the crown of this extraordinary winter campaign; 
but the misconduct of others would not suffer him 
to do this. At Ciudad Rodrigo, the Spanish engi- 
neers had entirely ceased the repairs of the works; 
Carlos d'Espana besides neglecting to provision 
that place, had by his oppressive conduct alarmed 
all the people of the vicinity, and created a dan- 
gerous spirit of discontent in the garrison ; Al- 
meida was insecure, and Marmont's army was 
already between the Agueda and the Coa. 

It was essential to place those fortresses in safety, 
ere the march into Andalusia could take place ; but 
the English general knowing that the danger in 
Beira was not very imminent, lingered a few days, 
hoping that Soult, in his anger at the loss of 
Badajos, would risk a blow on this side of the 
Morena ; and he was certain, that the French 
general could not stop more than a few days, 
because of the secondary armies whose operations 
were then in progress. 

Soult was indeed deeply affected by the loss of 
Badajos, but he was surrounded by enemies and 
the contest was too unequal. He had quitted 
Seville the 1st of April with twelve regiments of 
infantry, two of cavalry, and one battery of artil- 


levy. His march was by Lora del Rio and Con- chap. 

stantino upon Llerena ; and, to impose upon the L_ 

allies, general Gazan moved by the road of Monas- J"£ 
terio with the remainder of the artillery and the 
baggage, escorted by Barois' division of infantry, 
and some cavalry. But this column turned into 
the cross roads, at Santa de Guillena, and so reached 
Constantino, whence they followed the main body, 
and thus the whole army was concentrated at Llerena 
on the 6th. This circuitous march had been de- 
termined by the situation of Drouet and Daricau, 
who having been before driven into the mountains 
by the Cordova roads, could not rally upon the 
side of Monasterio ; now however they advanced to 
Fuentes de Ovejuna, and the allies fell back to 
Albuera and Talavera Real. 

On the 7th the French reached Villafranca and 
their cavalry entered Villalba and Fuente del 
Maestro. The 8th they were in march to fight, when 
the horsemen sent by Phillipon from Badajos, during 
the assault, brought the news of its fall ; at the same 
moment their general was apprized, by his spies, 
that Marmont by whom he expected to be joined was 
in the north and could not assist him. He immedi- 
ately fell back to Llerena, for the allies could then 
bring forty-five thousand men into action, and the 
French army though strongly constituted and the 
best troops in Spain did not exceed twenty-four 

Soult had now little time to deliberate, for Penne 
Villemur and Morillo, issuing out of Portugal with 
four thousand men, had crossed the Lower Guadiana, 
and seized San Lucar de Mayor on the 4th. This 
place was ten miles from Seville, which was only 

2f 2 


book garrisoned by a Spanish Swiss battalion in Joseph's 
!_ service, aided by " Escopeteros" and by the sick 

^ 81 i |; and convalescent men ; the commandant Rignoux 
had therefore, after a skirmish, shut himself up in 
fortified convents. The 6th the Spaniards had 
occupied the heights in front of the Triana bridge, 
and the 7th attacked the French entrenchments, 
hoping to raise a popular commotion. But a worse 
danger was gathering on the other side, for Bal- 
lesteros, after the defeat of Maransin, at Cartama, 
had advanced with eleven thousand men intending 
to fall on Seville from the left of the Guadalquivir. 
To distract the attention of the French, and to 
keep Laval from detaching troops to Seville, the 
Spanish general had sent Copons with four thou- 
sand men by Itar to Junquera, which is on the 
Malaga side of the Ronda ; meanwhile he himself 
entered Los Barios with the rest of his army and 
thus threatened at once Grenada and the lines of 
Chiclana. At the same time all the smaller par- 
tidas of the Ronda were let loose in different 
directions, to cut the communications, to seize the 
small French magazines, and to collect the Spanish 
soldiers, who, at different periods, had quitted their 
colours and retired to their homes. 

Copons remained at Junquera, but Ballesteros 
with three divisions commanded by Cruz Murgeon, 
the marquis de Las Cuevas, and the prince of 
Anglona, marched to Utrera as soon as Soult had 
departed from Seville ; thus the communication of 
that city with Cadiz on one side, and with Malaga 
and Grenada on the other, was cut off. The 
situation of the French was very critical, and they 
wanted ammunition, because a large convoy, coming 


from Madrid, with an escort of twelve hundred chap. 

men, was stopped in the Morena by the Partidas 

. 1812 

from the Ronda and from Murcia. April. 

On the 6th the Spanish cavalry was within a 
few miles of Seville, when false information adroitly 
given by a Spaniard in the French interest, led 
Ballesteros to believe that Soult was close at hand, 
whereupon he immediately returned to the Ronda ; 
the next day Penne Villemur having received 
notice from lord Wellington that the French would 
soon return, also retired to Gibraleon. 

Ballesteros soon discovered the deceit, when, 
instead of returning to Seville, he on the 9th 
assaulted the small castle of Zahara in the hills, 
and being repulsed with considerable loss, made a 
circuit north of Ronda, by Albodonales, Alcala de 
Pruna, to Casarbonela, where he was rejoined by 
Copons. The division of Cuevas then marched 
against Ossuna, which being only garrisoned by 
" Escopeteros" was expected to fall at once ; but 
after two days combat and the loss of two hundred 
killed and wounded, the three thousand patriots 
retired, baffled by a hundred and fifty of their own 
countrymen fighting for the invaders. 

When Cuevas returned, Ballesteros marched in 
three columns, by roads leading from Casarbonela 
and Antequera, to attack general Rey, who was 
posted with eighteen hundred men near Allora, on 
the Guadaljore river. The centre column was first 
engaged without any advantage, but when Rey saw 
the flank columns coming on, he retired behind 
the Guadalmedina river, close to Malaga, having 
lost a colonel and two hundred men in passing the 

After this action Ballesteros returned to the 

438 history of the 

book Ronda, for Soult was now truly at hand, and his 

!_ horsemen were already in the plains. He had sent 

^ 81 ?j' Digeon's cavalry on the 9th to Cordoba, to chase 
the Partidas, and had ordered Drouet's division to 
take post at Fuentes Overjuna ; then directing Pey- 
reymont's cavalry upon Usagre, he had come him- 
self by forced marches to Seville, which he reached 
the 11th, hoping to surprise the Spaniards; but 
the stratagem, which had saved Seville on the 
6th also saved Ballesteros, for general Conroux 
was coming up on the other side from the Guadalete 
and the Spaniards would have been enclosed but 
for their timely retreat. And scarcely had Soult 
quitted Llerena when the French met with a dis- 
aster near Usagre, which though a strong position 
had always proved a very dangerous advanced post 
on both sides. 

Sir Stapleton Cotton, while following the trail of 
the enemy, on the evening of the ] Oth, had received 
intelligence that Peyreymont's cavalry was between 
Villa Garcia and Usagre, and he immediately con- 
ceived hopes of cutting it off. To effect this Anson's 
brigade, then commanded by colonel Frederic Pon- 
sonby, moved during the night from Villa Franca 
upon Usagre, and at the same time Le Marchant's 
brigade marched from Los Santos upon Benvenida 
to intercept the retreat on Llerena. Ponsonby's 
advanced guard having commenced the action too 
soon, the French fell back, before Le Marchant 
could intercept them, but as some heights, skirting 
the Llerena road, prevented them from seeing that 
general, they again drew up in order of battle be- 
hind the junction of the Benvenida road. 

The hostile bodies were nearly equal in num- 
bers, about nineteen hundred sabres on each side, 


but sir Stapleton soon decided the action; for chap. 


ably seizing the accidental advantage of ground he 
kept the enemy's attention engaged by skirmishing PJjj 
with Ponsonby's squadrons, while Le Marchant 
secretly passing at the back of the heights, sent 
the fifth dragoon guards against their flank, and the 
next moment Ponsonby charged their front. Thus 
assailed the French gave way in disorder, and being 
pursued for four miles left several officers and a 
hundred and twenty-eight men prisoners, and many 
were killed in the field. The loss of the British 
was only fifty-six men and officers, of which forty- 
five were of the fifth dragoon guards. 

The beaten troops found refuge with Drouet's 
infantry which had not yet left Llerena ; but after 
this action, that general fell back with all his troops 
behind the Guadalquivir, for Soult was then pre- 
paring to fight the allies at Seville. 

The duke of Dalmatia was well aware of Wel- 
lington's intention to invade Andalusia. He knew 
exactly the amount and disposition of his forces, 
and was resolved to meet him coming out of the 
Morena, with all the French army united ; neither 
did he doubt the final issue, although the failure 
of the last harvest and the non-arrival of convoys 
since February had lessened his resources. Wel- 
lington's plan was however deferred. He had 
levelled his trenches, and brought two Portuguese 
regiments of infantry from Abrantes and Elvas to 
form a temporary garrison of Badajos, until some 
Spaniards, who had been landed at Ayamonte in 
March, could arrive ; then giving over the charge 
of the repairs to general Hill, who remained with 
two divisions of infantry and three brigades of 
cavalry in Estremadura, he marched himself upon 


book Beira, which Marmont was now ravaging with 
XVI - great cruelty. 

1812. That marshal had been anxious to unite with 
pn ' Soult in Estremadura, but the emperor's orders 
were imperative, that he should make a diversion 
for Badajos by an irruption into Portugal. On the 
14th of March he ascertained that none of Wel- 
lington's divisions were left on the Agueda, and on 
the 27th he was ready to move. Bonet, reinforced 
by Carier's brigade, was then on the Orbijo, in 
observation of the Gallicians ; Ferrier's division was 
at Valladolid, and Foy's in the valley of the Tagus ; 
but the other five divisions of infantry, and one of 
cavalry, had passed the mountains and concentrated 
on the Tormes, carrying with them fifteen days 
provisions, scaling ladders, and the materials for a 
bridge. Both Almeida and Ciudad Rodrigo were 
therefore in manifest peril, and Almeida which 
Appendix, contained the allies' battering train was still very 
section i. incompletely fortified. Hence on the first rumour of 
Marmont's movement, lord Wellington had thrown 
in two militia regiments, with a strong detachment 
of British artillery-men ; the garrison was therefore 
three thousand six hundred strong, and the go- 
vernor, colonel Le Mesurier, laboured hard to com- 
plete the defences. 

Of the northern militia, which had been called 
out before the allies quitted the Coa, six thou- 
sand infantry and three hundred cavalry were 
under Silveira, three thousand infantry under 
Trant, the same number under John Wilson, 
and two thousand five hundred under Lecor. 
But the law was, that persons liable to serve 
should be enrolled by classes in rotation, and 
therefore the present men, with the exception of 


Silveira's, were raw peasants totally unskilled in chap. 
the use of arms. All these officers save Lecor, ! — 


whose post was at Castello Branco, had been for A v 
some time in movement, and Trant and Wilson 
were on the 22d at Lamego, where general Bacel- 
lar, who commanded the province, fixed his head- 
quarters. Silveira had the same destination, but 
his march was slow, and his object rather to draw 
the wonder of his countrymen ; for in his un- 
quenchable vanity he always affected to act as an 
independent general. 

When Trant was assured that Marmont's direc- 
tion would be on Ciudad, and not Oporto, he ad- 
vanced from Lamego followed by Wilson, intending 
to take post on the Lower Coa. While in march 
he received Le Mesurier's despatches, which in- 
duced him to make a forced march with one bri- 
gade to the Cabe^a Negro mountain, behind the 
bridge of Almeida. His design was to break down 
the restored part of that structure, and so prevent 
the enemy from penetrating to Pinhel, where there 
was a magazine ; and his march was well-timed, for 
two French divisions were then driving Carlos 
d'Espaiia over the plain beyond the Coa. It ap- 
peared that Marmont having come close to Ciudad 
Rodrigo on the 30th, the Spaniards and Victor Alten 
fell back from the Yeltes before him ; and the latter, 
who had six hundred excellent German cavalry, 
immediately crossed the Agueda, and neither com- 
prehending the spirit of lord Wellington's orders, 
nor the real situation of affairs, retreated at once 
to Castello Branco, four long marches from Ciudad, 
thus leaving all the country open to the enemy's 
marauding parties Carlos d'Espaha, who had eight 


book hundred infantry, also retreated across the plain of 

the Cima de Coa to Fort Conception, but on the 
April' ^d the French, having laid their bridge at the ford 
of Caridad, passed the Agueda and drove him from 
thence, and he reached the Cabec_a Negro in retreat 
with only two hundred men, at the very moment 
Trant arrived. 

The latter seeing no French cavalry on the plain, 
and, being desirous of concerting his operations 
with Le Mesurier, immediately threw some skir- 
mishers into the vineyards on the right of the road 
beyond the bridge, then escorted by some guides 
whom he had dressed in red uniform, he galloped to 
the glacis of the fortress, communicated with the 
governor, received from him a troop of English 
cavalry which happened to be in the place and 
returned at dusk. The Cabe^a Negro was imme- 
diately covered with bivouac fires, and in the 
evening Le Mesurier sallied from the fortress, and 
drove back the enemy's light troops. Two divi- 
sions of infantry had come against Almeida, with 
orders to storm it, but these vigorous actions dis- 
turbed them ; the attempt was not made, and the 
general commanding excused himself to Marmont, 
on the ground that the sudden appearance of Trant, 
indicated the vicinity of British troops. In this 
false notion he marched the next morning up the Coa 
towards Alfayates, where Marmont met him with 
two other divisions, and eight squadrons of cavalry, 
having left one division to blockade Ciudad. 

Trant now sent back the horsemen to Le Mesurier 
and marched to Guarda to cover the magazines and 
hospital at Celerico. Here he was joined by Wil- 
son, and here he ought also to have been joined by 


Silveira; but that general instead of crossing the chap. 
Douro on the 5th, and marching up to Guarda, 

only crossed it on the 14th, and then halted at j^J5|; 
Lamego. Thus, instead of twelve thousand in- 
fantry, and four hundred cavalry, who had seen 
some service, there were scarcely six thousand raw 
peasants, in a position, strong, if the occupying 
force had been numerous enough to hold the ridge 
of Porcas and other heights behind it, but a very 
dangerous post for a small force, because it could be 
turned by the right and left, and the line of retreat 
to the Mondego was not favourable. Neither had 
Trant any horsemen to scout, for Bacellar, a weak 
old man, who had never seen an enemy, was now 
at Celerico, and retained the only squadron of dra- 
goons in the vicinity for his own guard. 

This post Trant and Wilson held, with six thou- 
sand militia and six guns, from the 9th to the 14th, 
keeping the enemy's marauders in check ; and they 
were also prepared to move by the high ridge of the 
Estrella to Abrantes, if the French should menace 
that fortress, which was not unlikely. For Marmont 
had pushed forward on Sabugal, and Victor Alten, 
abandoning Castello Branco, while the French were 
still at Memoa, fifty miles distant from him, had 
crossed the Tagus at Vilha Velha, and it is said 
had even some thoughts of burning the bridge. 
The French parties then traversed the Lower Beira 
in every direction, plundering and murdering 
in such a shameful manner, that the whole popu- 
lation fled before them. However, general Lecor, 
a good soldier, stood fast with the militia at Cas- 
tello Branco ; he checked the French cavalry de- 
tachments, removed the hospitals and some of the 
stores, and when menaced by a strong force of 


book infantry on the 12th, destroyed the rest of the 


magazines, and fell back to Sarnadas, only one 
j^^' short march on the road to Vilha Velha ; and the 
next day when the French retired, he followed and 
harassed their rear. 

Marmont's divisions being now spread over the 
country in search of supplies, Trant formed the 
very daring design of surprising the French mar- 
shal himself in his quarters at Sabugal. Bacellar's 
procrastinations fortunately delayed the execution 
of this project, which was undoubtedly too hazard- 
ous an enterprise to undertake with such troops ; 
for the distance was twenty miles, and it was a 
keen observation of lord Wellington's, when Trant 
adverted to the magnitude of the object, to say 
that, " In war nothing is so bad as failure and 
defeat.'" This would undoubtedly have been the 
case here; for in the night of the 13th, that on 
which Trant would have made the attempt, Mar- 
mont having formed the design of surprising Trant, 
offic™° nts ^ ac ^ ^ * wo brigades of infantry and four hundred 
Re^rts, cavalry up the mountain. He cut off the outposts, 
and was actually entering the streets at day-break, 
with his horsemen, when the alarm was beaten 
at Trant's quarters by one drummer ; this being 
General taken up at hazard, by all the other drummers in 
papers* different parts of the town, caused the French 
MSS - marshal to fall back at the moment, when a brisk 
charge would have placed every thing at his 
mercy, for the beating of the first drum was 
accidental, and no troops were under arms. 

The militia immediately took post outside Guarda, 
but they had only one day's provisions, and the 
French cavalry could turn their flank and gain 
Celerico in their rear, while the infantry attacked 


their front ; the guns were therefore moved off chap. 


under cover of the town, and the regiments, 
withdrawing in succession, retreated over three or j^J' 
four miles of open ground and in good order, 
although the enemy's cavalry hovered close on the 
flank, and the infantry followed at a short distance. 
Further on, however, there was a wooded de- 
clivity, leading to the Mondego, and here, while 
the head of the troops was passing the river below, 
forty dragoons, sent up by Bacellar, the evening 
before, were pressed by the French, and galloped 
through the rear-guard of eight hundred infantry ; 
these last seeing the enemy dismount to fire their 
carabines, and finding that the wet had damaged 
their own powder, fled also, and the French fol- 
lowed with hue and cry. 

All the officers behaved firmly, and the Mondego 
was finally passed, yet in confusion and with the 
loss of two hundred prisoners ; and Marmont might 
now have crossed the river, on the flank of the 
militia, and galloped into Celerico where there was 
nothing to defend the magazines ; instead of which 
he halted and permitted the disorderly rabble to 
gain that place. Such however was his compas- 
sion, that when he found they were really nothing 
but poor undisciplined peasants he would not suffer 
his cavalry to cut them down and no man was 
killed during the whole action, although the French 
horsemen were actually in the midst of the fu- 
gitives. Bacellar having destroyed a quantity of 
powder at Celerico retreated with Trant's people 
the next day towards Lamego ; Wilson remained at 
Celerico, and when the enemy had driven in his 
outposts, he ordered the magazines to be destroy- 
ed, but the order was only partly executed when 


book the French retired, and on the 17th the militia 


reoccupied Guarda. 
^^j This short campaign of the militia I have treated 
at length, because it produced an undue effect at 
the time, and because it shews how trifling acci- 
dents will mar the greatest combinations ; for here 
the English general's extensive arrangements for 
the protection of Beira were utterly disconcerted 
by the slow advance of Silveira on the one side, and 
the rapid retreat of general Alten on the other. 
Again, the French deceived by some red uniforms 
and by some bivouac fires, on the Cabe^a Negro, 
had relinquished the attack of Almeida to run after 
a few thousand undisciplined militia men, who were 
yet saved by the accidental beating of a drum ; and 
it is curious to find a marshal of France personally 
acting as a partizan, and yet effecting nothing 
against these miserable troops. 

The disaster on the Mondego spread consterna- 
tion as far as Coimbra, and the most alarming 
reports reached lord Wellington, whose operations 
it is now time to notice. When Soult's retreat 
from Llerena was ascertained, the allied army had 
marched towards the Tagus, and on the 11th lord 
Wellington, hearing of Alten's retreat, sent him 
orders to recross that river without delay and return 
to Castello Branco. The 16th the advanced guard 
of the army also reached that town, and the same 
day a militia officer flying from Coimbra in the 
general panic, came to head-quarters and reported 
that the enemy was master of that town ; but the 
next hour, brought general Wilson's report from 
Guarda, and the unfortunate wretch whose fears 
had led him to give the false information, was tried 
and shot by order of Beresford. 


At this time the French army, in number about, chap. ■ 


twenty-eight thousand, was concentrated, with the 
exception of Brennier's division which remained JJjMJ 
near Ciudad Rodrigo, between Sabugal and the 
ridge of hills overlooking Penamacor. Marmont 
was inclined to fight, for he had heard of a convoy 
of provisions which lord Wellington had some days 
before sent by the way of Almeida to Ciudad, and 
intended to cut it off; but the convoy having 
reached Almeida was safe, and the French ge- 
neral's own position was very critical. Almeida 
and the militia at Guarda were on his right flank, 
Ciudad Rodrigo was on his rear, and immediately 
behind him the Coa and the Agueda rivers were 
both swelled by heavy rains which fell from the 
13th to the 19th, and the flood had broken the 
bridge J near Caridad. There remained only 
the Puente de Villar on the Upper Agueda for 
retreat, and the roads leading to it were bad and 
narrow ; the march from thence to Tamames was 
also circuitous and exposed to the attack of the 
allies, who could move on the chord through Ciudad 
Rodrigo. Marmont's retreat must therefore have 
been effected through the pass of Perales upon 
Coria, and the English general conceiving good 
hopes of falling on him before he could cross the 
Coa, moved forward to Pedrogoa ; but the rear of 
the army was not yet across the Tagus, and a suffi- 
cient body of troops for the attack could not be col- 
lected before the 21st. On that day, however, the 
Agueda having subsided, the French restored their 
bridge, the last of their divisions crossed it on the 
24th, and Marmont thus terminated his opera- 
tions without loss. After this he again spread his 
troops over the plains of Leon, where some of 


book n * s smaller posts bad indeed been harassed by 
XVL Julian Sanchez, but where the Gallician army had 
1812. done nothing. 

A .'1 ® 

The Portuguese militia were immediately disband- 
ed, and the English general made the greatest ex- 
ertions to revictual Almeida and Ciudad Rodrigo, in- 
tending when that was effected to leave Picton with 
a corps upon the Agueda, and march himself against 
Andalusia, following his original design. The first 
division, which had only reached Castello Branco, 
returned to Castello de Vide, and as Foy's division 
had meanwhile reoccupied Truxillo, Hill advanced 
to observe him, and the fifth Spanish army returned 
to Estremadura. But the difficulty of supplying 
the fortresses was very great. The incursion of 
Marmont had destroyed all the intermediate maga- 
zines, and dispersed the means of transport on the 
lines of communication ; the Portuguese government 
would not remedy the inconvenience either there, 
or on the other frontier, and Elvas and Badajos 
were suffering from the same cause as Ciudad and 

In this dilemma lord Wellington adopted, from 
necessity, a very unmilitary and dangerous remedy. 
For having declared to the members of the Por- 
tuguese government, that on their heads he would 
throw the responsibility of losing Badajos and 
Elvas, if they did not immediately victual both, 
a threat which had its due effect, he employed the 
whole of the carriages and mules attached to the 
army to bring up stores to Almeida and Ciudad 
Rodrigo ; meanwhile he quartered his troops near 
the points of water-carriage, that is to say, on the 
Mondego, the Douro, and the Tagus. Thus the 
army was spread from the Morena to the Tagus, 


from the Ta^us to the Douro, from the Douro to chap. 

. . VI. 

the Mondego, on a line little less than four hun- !_ 

dred miles long, and in the face of three hostile j^ 1 ^* 
armies, the farthest of which was but a few 
marches from the outposts. It was however 
scarcely possible for the French to assemble again 
in masses, before the ripening of the coming har- 
vest ; and on the other hand, even the above mea- 
sure was insufficient to gain time ; the expedition 
against Andalusia was therefore abandoned, and 
the fifth great epoch of the war terminated. 

vol. iv. 2 a 





book In this campaign the French forces were too 

! — much scattered, and they occupied the countries 

bordering on Portugal rather as a conquered terri- 
tory than as a field of operations. The movements 
of the armies of the north, of the centre, and of 
Portugal, might have been so combined as to pre- 
sent a hundred thousand men on a field of battle ; 
yet Wellington captured two great fortresses within 
gun-shot as it were of them all, and was never dis- 
turbed by the approach of even thirty thousand 
men. This arose partly from want of union, partly 
from the orders of the Emperor, whose plans the 
generals either did not or would not understand in 
their true spirit, and therefore executed without 
vigour ; and yet the French writers have generally 
endeavoured to fasten the failures on Napoleon, as 
if he only was mistaken about the war in Spain ] 
It is easy to spurn the dead lion ! 

The expedition of Montbrun to Alicant has been 
fixed upon as the chief cause of the fall of Ciudad 
Rodrigo. Napoleon however did not desire that 
Montbrun's march should be held in abeyance for a 
week, upon the strength of some vague rumours 
relative to the allies' proceedings, and yet be finally 
sent at precisely the wrong period ; neither did he 
contemplate that general's idle display at Alicant 



after the city of Valencia had fallen. But ill- chap 

. VII. 

executed and hurtful as this expedition doubtless . 
was, in various ways, the loss of Ciudad Rodrigo 
cannot be directly traced to it. Mohtbrun was at 
Almanza the 9th of January and the 19th Ciudad 
was stormed ; now, if he had not been at Almanza 
he would have been at Toledo or Talavera, that is, 
eight marches from Salamanca ; and as the com- 
mencement of the siege was not known until the 
15th, even at Valladolid, he could not have been 
on the Tormes before the 25th, which would have 
been five days too late. The emperor wished to 
strengthen Suchet at the crisis of the Valencian 
operations, and his intent was that Montbrun 
should have reached that city in December, but the 
latter did not arrive before the middle of January; 
had he been only a week earlier, that is, had he 
marched at once from Toledo, Mahy could not 
have escaped, Alicant would then have fallen, and 
if Blake had made an obstinate defence at Valencia 
the value of such a reinforcement would have been 

At this period Valencia was the most important 
point in the Peninsula, and there was no apparent 
reason why Ciudad should be in any immediate 
danger ; the emperor could not calculate upon the 
errors of his own generals. It is futile therefore to 
affirm that Montbrun's detachment was made on a 
false principle ; it was on the contrary conceived 
in perfect accord with the maxim of concentrating 
on the important point at the decisive moment ; 
errors, extraneous to the original design, alone 
brought it within the principle of dissemination. 

The loss of Ciudad Rodrigo may be directly 
traced to the duke of Ragusa's want of vigilance, 

2 g 2 


hook to the scanty garrison which he kept in the place, 
1— to the Russian war which obliged the emperor to 

1812, weaken the army of the north ; finally, to the extra- 
vagance of the army of the centre. Marmont ex- 
pressly asserts that at Madrid three thousand men 
devoured and wasted daily the rations of twenty- 
two thousand, and the stores thus consumed would 
have enabled the army of Portugal to keep con- 
centrated, in which case Wellington could not have 
taken Ciudad ; and if the army of the centre had 
been efficient, Hill would have incurred great danger 
and Soult's power been vastly augmented. 

It is not Napoleon's skill only, that has been 
assailed by these writers. Lord Wellington also 
is blamed for not crushing Souham's division at 
Tamames between the 23d and the 26th of January ; 
although Souham, a good general, never entered 
Tamames, except with cavalry scouts, and kept his 
main body at Matilla, whence one forced march 
would have placed him behind the Tormes in 
safety ! In such a shallow manner have the im- 
portant operations of this period been treated. Nor 
will the causes commonly assigned for the fall of 
Badajos better bear examination. 

" Marmont instead of joining Soult in Estrema- 
dara, followed a phantom in Beira" " It was his 
vanity and jealousy of the duke of Dalmatia that lost 
Badajos." Such are the assertions of both French 
and English writers ; nevertheless the duke of 
Ragusa never anticipated any success from his 
movement into Beira, and far from avoiding Soult, 
earnestly desired to co-operate with him ; moreover 
this invasion- of Beira, which has been regarded 
as a folly, was the conception of Napoleon, the 
greatest of all captains ! and it is not difficult to 



shew that the emperor's design was, notwith- chap. 

* VII 

standing the ill result, capacious and solid. 

Let us suppose that Marmont had aided Soult, 
and that the army of the centre had also sent men. 
If they had made any error in their combinations 
the English general would have defeated them 
separately; if they had effected their junction, he 
would have retreated, and Badajos would have been 
succoured. But then eighty thousand French would 
have been assembled by long marches in the winter 
rains, to the great detriment of their affairs else- 
where, and unless they came prepared to take 
Elvas, without any adequate object ; for lord Wel- 
lington could, after the fall of Ciudad Rodrigo, 
have repeated this operation as often as he pleased, 
which, besides the opening thus made for insur- 
rection in Spain, would have stamped a character 
of weakness on the French arms, extremely inju- 
rious, since character is half the strength of an 

The emperor judged better ; he disliked such 
timid operations, he desired that his powerful ar- 
mies should throw the allies on the defensive and 
he indicated the means of doing: so. Wellington, 
he said, expecting an effort to retake Ciudad Ro- 
drigo, had called Hill across the Tagus, and to 
prevent that movement Soult was directed to send 
twenty thousand men against the Alemtejo. The 
fall of Ciudad had thus by obliging the allies to 
defend it, given the French their choice of ground 
for a battle, and at a distance from the sea ; it was 
for Marmont to avail himself of the occasion, 
not by marching to aid Soult, who had eighty thou- 
sand excellent troops, and at the worst could be 
only driven from Andalusia upon Valencia or Ma- 



book drid ; whereas if the army of Portugal or a part of 
- it should be defeated on the Guadiana the blow 
would be felt in every part of Spain. Marmont's 
business was, he said, first to strengthen his own 
position at Salamanca, as a base of operations, and 
then to keep the allies constantly engaged on the 
Agueda until he was prepared to fight a general 
battle. Meanwhile Soult should either take the 
fortresses of the Alemtejo, or draw off Hill's corps 
from Wellington, who would then be very inferior 
to Marmont and yet Hill himself would be unequal 
to fight Soult. 

" Fix your quarters," said the emperor, " at 
Salamanca, work day and night to fortify that 
place — organize a new battering train — form maga- 
zines—send strong advanced guards to menace 
Ciudad and Almeida — harass the allies' outposts, 
even daily — threaten the frontier of Portugal in all 
directions, and send parties to ravage the nearest 
villages — repair the ways to Almeida and Oporto, 
and keep the bulk of your army at Toro Zamora, 
Benevente, and Avila, which are fertile districts, 
and from whence, in four days, you can concen- 
trate the whole upon Salamanca. You will thus 
keep the allies in check on the Agueda, and your 
troops will repose, while you prepare for great 
operations. You have nothing to do with the 
south. Announce the approach of your new bat- 
tering train, and if Wellington marches to invest 
Badajos with a few divisions, Soult will be able to 
relieve it ; but if Wellington goes with all his 
forces, unite your army, march straight upon 
Almeida, push parties to Coimbra, overrun the 
country in various directions, and be assured he 
will return, Twenty-four hours after the receipt 


of this letter you should be on your way to Sala- chap. 

manca, and your advanced guards should be in ! 

march towards Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida." 1812 - 

Now, if Marmont had thus conceived the war 
himself, he could have commenced operations be- 
fore the end of January ; but this letter, written the 
15th of February, reached him in the latter end of 
that month, and found him desponding and fearful 
even in defence. Vacillating between his own 
wishes and the emperor's orders, he did nothing ; 
but had he, as his despatch recommended, com- 
menced his operations in twenty-four hours, his 
advanced posts would have been near Ciudad early 
in March, that is at the moment when the allies 
were, as I have before shewn, disseminated all over 
Portugal, and when only the fifth division was 
upon the Coa to oppose him. The works of Al- §w e $™* 
meida were then quite indefensible, and the move- Section 2. 
ment upon Badajos must have necessarily been 
suspended. Thus the winter season would have 
passed away uselessly for the allies unless Wel- 
lington turned to attack Marmont, which was a 
difficult operation in itself, and would have been 
dangerous to the Alemtejo, while Soult held Ba- 
dajos, for that marshal, as we have seen, had 
received orders to attack Hill with twenty thou- 
sand men. Here then the errors were of execution, 
not of design, and the first part of the emperor's 
combinations was evidently just and solid. It re- 
mains to test the second part which was to have 
been executed if lord Wellington invested Badajos. 

It must be remembered, that Marmont was so 
to hold his army, that he could concentrate in four 
days ; that he was to make an incursion into Beira 
the moment Wellington crossed the Tagus ; that 


book Oporto was to be menaced, Almeida to be attacked, 

'— Coimbra to be occupied. These operations would 

181 2 * undoubtedly have brought the allies back again at 
the commencement of the siege, because the fall of 
Badajos could not be expected under three weeks, 
which would have been too long to leave Beira and 
the fortresses at the mercy of the invader. Now 
Marmont did not reach the Agueda before the 
31st March, when the siege of Badajos was ap- 
proaching its conclusion ; he did not storm Almeida, 
nor attack Ciudad Rodrigo, nor enter Coimbra, nor 
menace Oporto ; and yet his operation, feebly as it 
was executed, obliged lord Wellington to relinquish 
his meditated attack on Andalusia, and return to 
the assistance of Beira. Again therefore the error 
was in the execution. And here we may observe 
how inferior in hardihood the French general was 
to his adversary. Wellington with eighteen thou- 
sand men had escaladed Badajos, a powerful for- 
tress and defended by an excellent governor with 
five thousand French veterans ; Marmont with 
twenty-eight thousand men would not attempt to 
storm Ciudad, although its breaches were scarcely 
healed, and its garrison disaffected. Nor did he 
even assail Almeida, which hardly meriting the 
name of a fortress, was only occupied by three 
thousand militia, scarcely able to handle their 
arms ; and yet if he had captured Almeida, as he 
could scarcely have failed to do with due vigour, 
he would have found a battering train with which 
to take Ciudad Rodrigo, and thus have again ba- 
lanced the campaign. 

The duke of Ragusa was averse to serving in 
the Peninsula, he wished to be employed in the 
Russian expedition, and he had written to the em- 




peror to desire his recal, or that the whole of the chap. 
northern district, from Sebastian to Salamanca, in- — 
eluding Madrid, should be placed under his orders. 
Unless that were done, he said he could only calcu- 
late the operations of his own troops. The other 
generals would make difficulties, would move 
slowly, and the king's court was in open hostility 
to the French interest. The army of the north 
had in retiring from Leon scrupulously carried 
away every thing that could be useful to him, in 
the way of bridge, or battering equipages, or of 
ammunition or provisions, although he was in want 
of all these things. 

Then he painted all the jealousies and disputes 
in the French armies, and affirmed that his own 
force, care being had for the posts of communica- 
tion, and the watching of the army of Gallicia, 
would not furnish more than thirty-four thousand 
men for the field ; a calculation contradicted by 
the imperial muster-rolls, which on the 1st of 
March bore sixty thousand fighting men present 
with the eagles. He also rated the allies at sixty 
thousand, well provided with every thing and ready 
to attack him, whereas the returns of that army 
gave only fifty-two thousand men including HilFs 
corps ; about thirty-five thousand only could have 
passed the Agueda, and their penury of means had, 
as we have seen, prevented them from even holding 
together, on the northern frontier. In like manner 
he assumed that two of the allied divisions were 
left upon the Agueda, when the army marched 
against Badajos, whereas no more than six hundred 
cavalry remained there. All these things prove 
that Marmont, either from dislike to the war, or 
natural want of vigour, was not equal to his task, 


book and it is obvious that a diversion, begun so late, 
— — L- and followed up with so little energy, could have 

1812 - had little effect upon the siege of Badajos ; it 
would have been far better to have followed his 
own first design of detaching three divisions to 
aid Soult, and retained the other two to menace 
Ciudad Rodrigo. 

It is fitting now to test the operations of the 
armies of the south, and of the centre. The latter 
is easily disposed of. The secret of its inactivity is 
to be found in Marmont's letter. Every thing at 
Madrid was confusion and intrigue, waste and want 
of discipline ; in fine, the union of a court and an 
army, had destroyed the latter. Not so at Seville. 
There the hand of an able general, an indefatigable 
administrator were visible, and the unravelling the 
intricate combinations, which produced such an 
apparent want of vigour in the operations of the 
duke of Dalmatia, will form at once the apology 
for that general, and the just eulogium of lord 

First it must be held in mind that the army of 
the south, so powerful in appearance, did not 
furnish a proportionate number of men for field- 
service, because the reinforcements, although borne 
on the rolls, were for the most part retained in the 
northern governments. Soult had sixty-seven thou- 
sand French and six thousand " Escopeteros" pre- 
sent under arms in September ; but then followed 
the surprise of Girard at Aroyo de Molinos, the 
vigorous demonstrations of Hill in December, the 
failure of Godinot at Gibraltar, the check sus- 
tained by Semele' at Bornos, and the siege of 
Tarifa, which diminished the number of men, and 
occasioned fresh arrangements on the different 



points of the circle. The harvest of 1811 had chap. 

. . VII. 

failed in Andalusia, as in all other parts, and the . 
inhabitants were reduced to feed on herbs ; the 
soldiers had only half rations of bread, and neither 
reinforcements of men, nor convoys of money, nor 
ammunition, nor clothes, had come either from France 
or from Madrid for a long period. 

It was under these circumstances that Soult 
received the order to send twenty thousand men 
against the Alemtejo. But the whole of the Polish 
troops, and the skeletons of regiments, and the 
picked men for the imperial guards, in all fifteen 
thousand, after being collected at the Despeiias 
Peros, while Suchet was before Valencia, had now 
marched to Talavera de la Reyna on the way to 
France ; at that moment also Ballesteros appeared, 
with the fourth Spanish army, twelve thousand 
strong, in the Ronda, and his detachments defeated 
Maransin at Cartana, which of necessity occasioned 
another change in the French dispositions. More- 
over the very successes of Suchet had at this time 
increased Soult's difficulties, because all the fugi- 
tives from Valencia gathered on the remains of 
the Murcian army ; and fifteen thousand men, in- 
cluding the garrisons of Carthagena and Alicant, 
were again assembled on the frontier of Grenada, 
where, during the expedition to Estremadura, the 
French had only three battalions and some cavalry. 

Thus the army of the south was, if the garrison 
of Badajos be excluded, reduced to forty-eight 
thousand French sabres and bayonets present with 
the eagles, and this at the very moment when its 
enemies were augmented by twenty-five thousand 
fresh men. Soult had indeed besides this force 
five thousand artillery-men and other attendant 


book troops, and six thousand " Escopeteros" were ca- 

1_ pable of taking the field, while thirty thousand 

I812. c [ vlc g uar ds held his fortified posts. Nevertheless 
he was forced to reduce all the garrisons, and even 
the camp before the Isla to the lowest numbers, 
consistent with safety, ere he could bring twenty- 
four thousand French into the field for the succour 
of Badajos, and even then as we have seen, he 
was upon the point of losing Seville. These things 
prevented him from coming against the Alemtejo in 
March, when his presence with an army would have 
delayed the commencement of the siege until a 
battle had been fought : but he was the less fearful 
for the fortress because Marmont on the 22d of 
February and Foy on the 28th had announced, that 
if Badajos should be menaced, three divisions of 
the army of Portugal, then in the valley of the 
Tagus, would enter Estremadura ; and these di- 
visions uniting with Daricau's and Drouet's troops 
would have formed an army of thirty thousand men, 
and consequently would have sufficed to delay the 
operations of the allies. But Marmont, having 
subsequently received the emperor's orders to move 
into Beira, passed the Gredos mountains instead of 
the Tagus river, and thus unintentionally deceived 
Soult ; and whether his letters were intercepted, or 
carelessly delayed, it was not until the 8th of April, 
that the duke of Dalmatia was assured of his de- 
parture for Salamanca. 

On the other hand Lord Wellington's operations 
were so rapidly pushed forward, that Soult cannot 
be censured for false calculations. No general 
could suspect that such an outwork as the Picurina, 
would be taken by storm without being first battered ; 
still less that Badajos, with its lofty walls, its brave 


garrison, and its celebrated governor, would in chap. 

like manner be carried before the counterscarp was ! — 

blown in, and the fire of the defences ruined. In 1812 * 
fine, no man accustomed to war could have di- 
vined the surpassing resolution and surpassing for- 
tune also, of the British general and his troops ; 
neither is it impertinent to observe here, that as the 
French never use iron ordnance in a siege, their 
calculations were necessarily formed upon the effect 
of brass artillery, which is comparatively weak and 
slow : with brass guns the breaches would have 
been made three days later. 

The fall of Badajos may therefore be traced partly 
to the Russian war, which drew fifteen thousand men 
from the army of the south, partly to the irresolution 
of Marmont, who did neither execute the emperor's 
plan nor his own ; finally, to the too great extent of 
country occupied, whereby time and numbers were 
swallowed. And here the question arises, if Soult, 
acting upon the principles laid down in his letter to 
Joseph, just before the battle of Talavera, should 
not have operated against the allies in great masses, 
relinquishing possession of Grenada, Malaga, in fine 
of every thing, save Seville and the camp before the 
Isla. If beaten, he would have lost Andalusia and 
fallen back on Suchet, but then the head of the 
French invasion, might have been more formidable 
at Valencia than at Seville, and Marmont could 
have renewed the battle. And such a chequered 
game, lord Wellington's political situation both in 
England and Portugal being considered, would 
have gone near to decide the question of the 
British troops remaining in the latter country. 
This however is a grave and difficult matter to 


book In whatever light this campaign is viewed 

the talent of the English general is conspicuous. 
1812. That fortune aided him is true, but it was in the 
manner she favours the pilot, who watching every 
changing wind, every shifting current, makes all 
subservient to his purpose. Ascertaining with great 
pains the exact situation of each adversary, he 
had sagaciously met their different modes of war- 
fare, and with a nice hand had adapted his mea- 
sures to the successive exigences of the moment. 
The army of the centre, where disorder was para- 
mount, he disregarded ; Marmont whose tempera- 
ment was hasty he deceived by affected slowness ; 
and Soult he forestalled by quickness. Twice he 
induced the duke of Ragusa to send his divisions 
into distant quarters, when they should have been 
concentrated, and each time he gained a great ad- 
vantage ; once when he took Ciudad Rodrigo, and 
again when, using a like opportunity, to obviate the 
difficulties presented by the conduct of the Portu- 
guese government, he spread his own troops over 
the country, in an unmilitary manner, that he might 
feed and clothe them on their march to the Alem- 
tejo. This he could not have done if the French 
had been concentrated ; neither could he have so 
well concealed that march from the enemy. 

In Estremadura, he kept his force compact and 
strong to meet Soult, from whose warfare he ex- 
pected a powerful opposition, hard indeed to re- 
sist, yet not likely to abound in sudden strokes, 
and therefore furnishing more certain ground for 
calculation as to time ; and then he used that time 
so wonderfully at the siege, that even his enemies 
declared it incomprehensible, and he who had 
hitherto been censured for over caution was now 


dreaded as^over daring ! This daring was, how- chap. 



ever, in no manner allied to rashness, his precau- 
tions multiplied as his enterprises augmented. The 
divisions of the army of Portugal, quartered in the 
valley of the Tagus, could by moving into Estre- 
madura in March have delayed if not prevented the 
siege ; lord Wellington had therefore with forecast 
of such an event, designed that Hill should, when 
the allies entered the Alemtejo, make a forced 
march to surprise the bridge and forts at Almaraz, 
which would have obliged the French divisions to 
make a long circuit by the bridges of Arzobispo 
and Talavera to reach the scene of action in Estre- 

This bold and skilful stroke was baulked by the 
never-ceasing misconduct of the Portuguese go- 
vernment, with respect to means of transport ; for 
the battering-guns intended for Hill's enterprise 
were thus prevented passing Evora. Nevertheless 
the siege was commenced, because it was ascer- 
tained that Marmont was still ignorant of the allies' 
march, and had made no change in his extended 
quarters, indicating a design to aid Soult ; Hill also 
soon drove Drouet back towards the Morena, and 
by occupying Merida, intercepted the line of com- 
munication with Almaraz, which answered the 
same purpose. But the best testimony to the skill 
of the operation is to be found in the enemy's 
papers. " So calculated," said Soult, " was this inter- 
affair (the siege of Badajos) that it is to be supposed patch of 
lord Wellington had intercepted some despatches Soult, 

1812 MSS. 

which explained to him the system of operations 
and the irresolution of Marmont." 

Nor when the duke of Ragusa was ravaging 
Beira, and both Almeida and Ciudad appeared in 


book the utmost danger, did lord Wellington's delay in 

. L_ Estremadura arise from any imprudence; he had 

181 2 - good grounds for believing, that the French would 
not attempt the latter place, and that the loss of a 
few days would not prove injurious. For when 
the first intelligence that the army of Portugal was 
concentrating on the Tormes reached him, he sent 
captain Colquhoun Grant, a celebrated scouting 
officer, to watch Marmont's proceedings. That 
gentleman, in whom the utmost daring was so mixed 
with subtlety of genius, and both so tempered by 
discretion, that it is hard to say which quality 
predominated, very rapidly executed his mission ; 
and the interesting nature of his adventures on 
this occasion will perhaps excuse a digression con- 
cerning them. 

Attended by Leon, a Spanish peasant of great 
fidelity and quickness of apprehension, who had 
been his companion on many former occasions of 
the same nature, Grant arrived in the Salamancan 
district, and passing the Tormes in the night, re- 
mained, in uniform, for he never assumed any dis- 
guise, three days in the midst of the French camp. 
He thus obtained exact information of Marmont's 
object, and more especially of his preparations of 
provisions and scaling ladders, notes of which he 
sent to lord Wellington from day to day by Spanish 
agents. However, on the third night, some peasants 
brought him a general order, addressed to the 
French regiments, and saying, that the notorious 
Grant being within the circle of their cantonments, 
the soldiers were to use their utmost exertions to 
secure him, for which purpose also guards were 
placed as it were in a circle round the army. 
, Nothing daunted by this news, Grant consulted 




with the peasants, and the next morning, before c ^ p * 
daylight, entered the village of Huerta, which is - 
close to a ford on the Tormes, and about six miles 
from Salamanca. Here there was a French batta- 
lion, and on the opposite side of the river cavalry 
videttes were posted, two of which constantly pa- 
trolled back and forward, for the space of three 
hundred yards, meeting always at the ford. When 
day broke the French battalion assembled on its 
alarm-post, and at that moment Grant was secretty 
brought with his horse behind the gable of a house, 
which hid him from the infantry, and was opposite 
to the ford. The peasants standing on some loose 
stones and spreading their large cloaks, covered 
him from the cavalry videttes, and thus he calmly 
waited until the latter were separated the full ex- 
tent of their beat ; then putting spurs to his horse 
he dashed through the ford between them, and re- 
ceiving their fire without damage, reached a wood, 
not very distant, where the pursuit was baffled, 
and where he was soon rejoined by Leon, who in 
his native dress met with no interruption. 

Grant had already ascertained that the means of 
storming Ciudad Rodrigo were prepared, and that 
the French officers openly talked of doing so, but 
he desired still further to test this project, and to 
discover if the march of the enemy might not 
finally be directed by the pass of Perales, towards 
the Tagus ; he wished also to ascertain more cor- 
rectly their real numbers, and therefore placed 
himself on a wooded hill, near Tamames, where 
the road branches off to the passes, and to Ciudad 
Rodrigo. Here lying perdue, until the whole 
French army had passed by in march, he noted 

VOL. IV. 2 H 


book every battalion and gun, and finding that all were 
directed towards Ciudad, entered Tamames after 

they had passed, and discovered that they had 
left the greatest part of their scaling-ladders 
behind, which clearly proved that the intention 
of storming Ciudad Rodrigo was not real. This 
it was which allayed Wellington's fears for that 

When Marmont afterwards passed the Coa, in this 
expedition, Grant preceded him with intent to dis- 
cover if his further march would be by Guarda upon 
Coimbra, or by Sabugal upon Castello Branco ; for 
to reach the latter it was necessary to descend from 
a very high ridge, or rather succession of ridges, 
by a pass, at the lower mouth of which stands 
Penamacor. Upon one of the inferior ridges in the 
pass, this persevering officer placed himself, think- 
ing that the dwarf oaks, with which the hills were 
covered, would effectually secure him from dis- 
covery; but from the higher ridge above, the French 
detected all his movements with their glasses, 
in a few moments Leon, whose lynx-eyes were 
always on the watch, called out " the French ! the 
French /" and pointed to the rear, whence some 
dragoons came galloping up. Grant and his fol- 
lower, instantly darted into the wood for a little 
space, and then suddenly wheeling, rode off in a 
different direction ; yet at every turn new enemies 
appeared, and at last the hunted men dismounted 
and fled on foot through the thickest of the low 
oaks ; but again they were met by infantry, who 
had been detached in small parties down the sides 
of the pass, and were directed in their chase by 
the waving of the French officers' hats on the ridge 



above. At last Leon fell exhausted, and the bar- chap. 

barians who first came up, killed him in despite of. 

his companion's entreaties. 

Grant himself they carried, without injury, to 
Marmont, who receiving him with apparent kind- 
ness, invited him to dinner. The conversation 
turned upon the prisoner's exploits, and the 
French marshal affirmed that he had been for a 
long time on the watch, that he knew all his 
haunts, and his disguises, and had discovered that, 
only the night before, he had slept in the French 
head-quarters, with other adventures, which had 
not happened, for this Grant never used any dis- 
guise ; but there was another Grant, a man also 
very remarkable in his way, who used to remain 
for months in the French quarters, using all manner 
of disguises ; hence the similarity of names caused 
the actions of both to be attributed to one, which 
is the only palliative for Marmont's subsequent 

Treating his prisoner as 1 have said, with great 
apparent kindness, the French general exacted from 
him an especial parole, that he would not consent 
to be released by the Partidas, while on his journey 
through Spain to France, which secured his captive, 
although lord Wellington offered two thousand 
dollars to any guerilla chief who should rescue 
him. The exaction of such a parole, however 
harsh, was in itself a tacit compliment to the man ; 
but Marmont, also, sent a letter, with the escort, to 
the governor of Bayonne, in which, still labouring 
under the error that there was only one Grant, he 
designated his captive as a dangerous spy, who 
had done infinite mischief to the French army, and 
whom he had only not executed on the spot, out of 

2 ii 2 



book respect to something: resembling: an uniform which 


he wore at the time of his capture. 'He therefore 

1812- desired, that at Bayonne, he should be placed in 
irons and sent up to Paris. 

This proceeding was too little in accord with 
the honour of the French army to be supported, 
and before the Spanish frontier was passed, Grant, 
it matters not how, was made acquainted with 
the contents of the letter. Now the custom at Ba- 
yonne, in ordinary cases, was for the prisoner to wait 
on the authorities, and receive a passport to travel 
to Verdun, and all this was duly accomplished ; 
meanwhile the delivering of the fatal letter being, 
by certain means, delayed, Grant, with a wonder- 
ful readiness and boldness, resolved not to escape 
towards the Pyrenees, thinking that he would 
naturally be pursued in that direction. He judged 
that if the governor of Bayonne could not recapture 
him at once, he would for his own security suppress 
the letter in hopes the matter would be no further 
thought of; judging, I say, in this acute manner, 
he on the instant inquired at the hotels, if any 
French officer was going to Paris, and finding that 
general Souham, then on his return from Spain, 
was so bent, he boldly introduced himself, and 
asked permission to join his party. The other 
readily assented ; and while thus travelling, the 
general, unacquainted with Marmont's intentions, 
often rallied his companion about his adventures, 
little thinking that he was then himself an instru- 
ment in forwarding the most dangerous and skilful 
of them all. 

In passing through Orleans, Grant, by a species 
of intuition, discovered an English agent, and 
from him received a recommendation to another 




secret agent in Paris, whose assistance would be °*}?i P ' 
necessary to his final escape; for he looked upon 
Marmont's double dealing, and the expressed design 
to take away his life, as equivalent to a discharge 
of his parole, which was moreover only given with 
respect to Spain. When he arrived at Paris he 
took leave of Souham, opened an intercourse 
with the Parisian agent, from whom he obtained 
money, and by his advice, avoided appearing 
before the police, to have his passport examined. 
He took a lodging in a very public street, fre- 
quented the coffee-houses, and even visited the 
theatres without fear, because the secret agent, 
who had been long established and was intimately 
connected with the police, had ascertained that no 
inquiry about his escape had been set on foot. 

In this manner he passed several weeks, at the 
end of which, the agent informed him that a pass- 
port was ready for one Jonathan Buck, an American, 
who had died suddenly, on the very day it was to 
have been claimed. Seizing this occasion, Grant 
boldly demanded the passport, with which he in- 
stantly departed for the mouth of the Loire, because 
certain reasons, not necessary to mention, led him 
to expect more assistance there than at any other 
port. However, new difficulties awaited him and 
were overcome by fresh exertions of his surprising 
talents, which fortune seemed to delight in aiding. 

He first took a passage for America in a ship of 
that nation, but its departure being unexpectedly de- 
layed, he frankly explained his true situation to 
the captain, who desired him to assume the character 
of a discontented seaman, and giving him a sailor's 
dress and forty dollars, sent him to lodge the money 
in the American consuls hands as a pledge, that 


book he would prosecute the captain for ill usage when 

— he reached the United States ; this being the 

custom on such occasions the consul gave him a 
certificate which enabled him to pass from port 
to port as a discharged sailor seeking a ship. 

Thus provided, after waiting some days, Grant 
prevailed upon a boatman, by a promise of ten 
Napoleons, to row him in the night towards a small 
island, where, by usage, the English vessels wa- 
tered unmolested, and in return permitted the few 
inhabitants to fish and traffic without interruption. 
In the night the boat sailed, the masts of the 
British ships were dimly seen on the other side of 
the island, and the termination of his toils appeared 
at hand, when the boatman, either from fear or 
malice, suddenly put about and returned to port. 
In such a situation, some men would have striven 
in desperation to force fortune, and so have pe- 
rished ; the spirits of others would have sunk in 
despair, for the money which he had promised was 
all that remained of his stock, and the boatman, 
notwithstanding his breach of contract, demanded 
the whole ; but with inexpressible coolness and 
resolution, Grant gave him one Napoleon instead 
of ten, and a rebuke for his misconduct. The 
other having threatened a reference to the police, 
soon found that he was no match in subtlety for 
his opponent, who told him plainly that he would 
then denounce him as aiding the escape of a 
prisoner of war, and would adduce the great price 
of his boat as a proof of his guilt ! 

This menace was too formidable to be resisted, 
and Grant in a few days engaged an old fisherman, 
who faithfully performed his bargain ; but now 
there were no English vessels near the island ; how- 



ever the fisherman cast his nets and caught some chap. 

fish, with which he sailed towards the southward, 

where he had heard there was an English ship of 
war. In a few hours they obtained a glimpse of 
her, and were steering that way, when a shot from 
a coast-battery brought them to, and a boat with 
soldiers put off to board them ; the fisherman was 
steadfast and true ; he called Grant his son, and 
the soldiers by whom they expected to be arrested 
were only sent to warn them not to pass the battery, 
because the English vessel they were in search of 
was on the coast. The old man, who had expected 
this, bribed the soldiers with his fish, assuring 
them he must go with his son or they would starve, 
and that he was so well acquainted with the coast 
he could always escape the enemy. His prayers 
and presents prevailed, he was desired to wait 
under the battery till night, and then depart ; 
but under pretence of arranging his escape from 
the English vessel, he made the soldiers point 
out her bearings so exactly, that when the darkness 
came, he ran her straight on board, and the intrepid 
officer stood in safety on the quarter-deck. 

After this Grant reached England and obtained 
permission to choose a French officer of equal rank 
with himself, to send to France, that no doubt 
might remain about the propriety of his escape; 
and great was his astonishment to find, in the first 
prison he visited, the old fisherman and his real 
son, who had meanwhile been captured notwith- 
standing a protection given to them for their services. 
Grant, whose generosity and benevolence were as 
remarkable as the qualities of his understanding, 
soon obtained their release, and having sent them 
with a sum of money to France returned himself 




book to the Peninsula, and within four months from the 


- date of his first capture was again on the Tormes, 
watching Marmont's army ! Other strange incidents 
of his life I could mention, were it not more fitting 
to quit a digression, already too wide ; yet I was 
unwilling to pass an occasion of noticing one ad- 
venture of this generous and spirited, and yet gentle- 
minded man, who having served his country nobly 
and ably in every climate, died, not long since, ex- 
hausted by the continual hardships he had endured. 
Having now shewn the prudence of lord Wel- 
lington with respect to the campaign generally, it 
remains to consider the siege of Badajos, which 
has so often been adduced in evidence, that not 
skill but fortune plumed his ambitious wing; a pro- 
ceeding indeed most consonant to the nature of man ; 
for it is hard to avow inferiority, by attributing 
an action so stupendous to superior genius alone. 
A critical scientific examination would be mis- 
placed in a general history, but to notice some of 
the leading points which involve the general con- 
ception will not be irrelevent. The choice of the 
line of attack has been justified by the English 
engineers, as that requiring least expenditure of 
means and time ; but this has by the French en- 
gineer been denied. Colonel Lamarre affirms that 
the front next the castle was the one least suscep- 
tible of defence ; because it had neither ravelin nor 
ditch to protect it, had fewer flanks, and offered no 
facility of retrenching behind it; a view which is con- 
firmed by Phillipon, who being the best judge of his 
own weak points, did for many days imagine that 
this front was the true object of the allies' approaches. 
But Lamarre advances a far more interesting ques- 
tion, when he affirms that the English general 



might have carried Badajos by escalade and storm, chap. 
on the first night of the siege, with less difficulty - 
than he experienced on the 7th of April. On that 
night, he says, the defences were not so complete, 
that the garrison was less prepared, and the surprise 
would have availed somewhat ; whereas at the 
second period the breaches were the strongest part 
of the town, and as no other advantage had been^ 
gained by the besiegers, the chances were in favour 
of the first period. 

This reasoning appears sound, yet the fact is 
one which belongs, not to the rules but the 
secrets of the art, and they are only in the keeping 
of great captains. That the breaches were im- 
pregnable has indeed been denied by the Eng- 
lish engineers. Colonel Jones affirms that the 
centre breach had not the slightest interior re- 
trenchment, and that the sword-blades in the Tri- 
nidad, might have been overturned by the rush 
of a dense mass of troops. This opinion is quite 
at variance with that of the officers and men en- 
gaged ; it is certain also that all the breaches were 
protected by the sword-blades, and if the centre 
breach was not retrenched, it was rendered very 
difficult of approach by the deep holes digged 
in front, and it was more powerfully swept by 
flank-fire than the others were. It is also a 
mistake to suppose that no dense rush was made 
at the great breach. Engineers intent upon their 
own art sometimes calculate on men as they 
do on blocks of stone or timber, nevertheless 
where the bullet strikes the man will fall. The 
sword-blades were fitted into ponderous beams, 
and these last, chained together, were let deep into 
the ground ; how then was it possible for men to 


book drag, or push them from their places, when behind 

them stood resolute men, whose fire swept the fore- 
81 2 " most ranks away? This fire could not be re- 
turned by the soldiers engaged in removing the 
obstacles, nor by those in rear, because, from the 
slope of the breach, they could only see their own 
comrades of the front ranks ; and then the dead 
bodies, and the struggling wounded men, and still 
more the spiked planks, rendered a simultaneous 
exertion impossible. The breaches were impreg- 
nable ! 

And why was all this striving in blood against 
insurmountable difficulties? Why were men sent 
thus to slaughter, when the application of a just 
science would have rendered the operation com- 
paratively easy? Because the English ministers, 
so ready to plunge into war, were quite ignorant of 
its exigencies ; because the English people are 
warlike without being military, and under the 
pretence of maintaining a liberty which they do not 
possess, oppose in peace all useful martial estab- 
lishments. Expatiating in their schools and col- 
leges, upon Roman discipline and Roman valour, 
they are heedless of Roman institutions ; they desire 
like that ancient republic, to be free at home and 
conquerors abroad, but start at perfecting their mili- 
tary system, as a thing incompatible with a con- 
stitution, which they yet suffer to be violated by 
every minister who trembles at the exposure of 
corruption. In the beginning of each war, En- 
gland has to seek in blood for the knowledge 
necessary to insure success, and like the fiend's 
progress toward Eden, her conquering course is 
through chaos followed by death ! 

But it is not in the details of this siege we must 


look for Wellington's merits. The apportioning of chap. 

the number of guns, the quantity of ammunition, . 

the amount of transport, the tracing of the works, 1812- 
and the choice of the points of attack, are mat- 
ters within the province of the engineer ; the 
value and importance of the place to be attacked 
in reference to other objects of the campaign, the 
time that can be spared to effect its reduction, the 
arrangements necessary to elude or to resist the 
succouring army, the calculation of the resources, 
from whence the means of attack are to be drawn, 
these are in the province of the general. With 
him also rests the choice of shortening the scien- 
tific process, and the judging of how much or how 
little ought to be risked, how much trusted to the 
valour and discipline of his army, how much to 
his own genius for seizing accidents, whether of 
ground, of time, or of conjunction to accelerate the 
gain of his object. 

Now all armies come to the siege of a town with 
great advantages ; for first the besieged cannot but 
be less confident than the assailants ; they are a 
few against a many, and being on the defensive, 
are also an excised portion of their own army, and 
without news, which damps the fiery spirit. They 
are obliged to await their adversary's time and 
attack, their losses seem more numerous, in pro- 
portion to their forces, because they are more con- 
centrated, and then the wounded are not safe even 
in the hospitals. No troops can hope to maintain a 
fortress eventually, without the aid of a succouring 
army ; their ultimate prospect is death or captivity. 
The besiegers on the contrary have a certain retreat, 
know the real state of affairs, feel more assured 
of their object, have hope of profit, and a secure 



book retreat if they fail, while the besieged faintly look 
' - for succour, and scarcely expect life. To this may 
be added that the inhabitants are generally secret 
enemies of the garrison as the cause of their own 

The number of guns and quantity of am- 
munition, in a fortress, are daily diminished ; the 
besiegers' means, originally calculated to over- 
power the other, may be increased. Time and 
materials are therefore against the besieged, and 
the scientific foundation of the defence depends on 
the attack which may be varied, while the other is 
fixed. Finally the firmness and skill of the de- 
fence generally depends upon the governor, who 
may be killed, whereas many officers amongst the 
besiegers are capable of conducting the attack ; 
and the general, besides being personally less 
exposed, is likely, as the chief of an army, to be a 
man of more spirit and capacity than a simple 
governor. It follows then that fortresses must fall 
if the besiegers sit down before them according to 
the rules of art ; and when no succouring army is 
nigh, the time, necessary to reduce any place, 
may be calculated with great exactness. When 
these rules cannot be attended to, when every 
thing is irregular and doubtful, when the general 
is hurried on to the attempt, be it easy or difficult, 
by the force of circumstances, we must measure 
him by the greatness of the exigency, and the 
energy with which he acts. 

This is the light in which to view the siege of 
Badajos. Wellington's object was great, his dif- 
ficulties foreseen, his success complete. A few 
hours' delay, an accident, a turn of fortune, and 
he would again have been foiled ! aye ! but this 




is war, always dangerous and uncertain, an ever- C ^- 4P - 
rolling wheel and armed with scythes. Was the 
object worth the risk — did its gain compensate the 
loss of men — was it boldly, greatly acquired? 
These are the true questions and they may be 
answered thus. Suchet had subjugated Aragon 
by his mildness, Catalonia and Valencia by his 
vigour. In Andalusia, Soult had tranquillized the 
mass of the people, and his genius, solid and vast, 
was laying the deep foundation of a kingdom close 
to Portugal. He was forming such great establish- 
ments, and contriving such plans, as would, if per- 
mitted to become ripe, have enabled him to hold 
the Peninsula, alone, should the French armies 
fail in all other parts. In the centre of Spain the 
king, true to his plan of raising a Spanish party, 
was likely to rally round him all those of the pa- 
triots whom discontent, or weakness of mind, or 
corruption, might induce to seek a plausible excuse, 
for joining the invaders ; and on the northern line 
the French armies, still powerful, were strengthen- 
ing their hold of the country by fortifying all the 
important points of Leon and Old Castile. Mean- 
while the great army, which the emperor was car- 
rying to Russia, might or might not be successful, 
but in either case, it was the only moment when an 
offensive war, against his army in Spain, could have 
been carried on with success. 

But how could any extensive offensive operation 
have been attempted while Badajos remained in the 
enemy's possession? If Wellington had advanced 
in the north, Soult making Badajos his base would 
have threatened Lisbon ; if Wellington marched 
against the French centre, the same thing would 
have happened, and the army of the north would 


book also have acted on the left flank of the allies or 


have retaken Ciudad Rodrigo. If an attempt had 

been made against Soult, it must have been by the 
Lower Guadiana, when the French army of Por- 
tugal coming down to Badajos, could have either 
operated against the rear of the allies, or against 

Badajos was therefore the key to all offensive 
operations by the allies, and to take it was an 
indispensable preliminary. Yet how take it ? By 
regular or by irreglar operations ? For the first a 
certain time was required, which from the expe- 
rience of former sieges it was not to be expected 
that the enemy would allow. What then would 
have been the result, if thus, year after year, the 
allies showed they were unable even to give battle 
to their enemies, much less to chase them from the 
Peninsula. How was it to be expected that 
England would bear the expense of a protracted 
warfare, affording no hope of final success. How 
were the opposition clamours to be replied to in 
Parliament ? How were the secret hopes of the 
continental governments to be upheld if the mili- 
tary power of England, Portugal, and Spain united 
was unable to meet even a portion of the secondary 
armies of Napoleon, while with four hundred thou- 
sand men he stalked, a gigantic conqueror, over the 
wastes of Russia ? To strike irregularly then was 
Wellington's only resource. To strike without re- 
gard to rules, trusting to the courage of his men 
and to fortune to bear him through the trial tri- 
umphant. Was such a crisis to be neglected by a 
general who had undertaken on his own judgement 
to fight the battle of the Peninsula. Was he to 
give force to the light declamation of the hour, 


when general officers in England were heard to say chap. 

that every defeat of the French was a snare to 

decoy the British further into Spain ! was he, at 
such a moment, to place the probable loss of a few 
thousand men, more or less, in opposition to such 
a conjuncture, and by declining the chance offered, 
shew that he despaired of success himself? What 
if he failed ? he would not have been, save the loss 
of a few men, worse off than if he had not attacked. 
In either case, he would have been a baffled general 
with a sinking cause. But what if he succeeded ? 
The horizon was bright with the coming glory of 
England ! 

A P P E xN D I X. 


2 T 



No. I. 

Captain Irby to Mr. Croft. 

" H. M.S. Amelia, 
"Coruna, May 6, 1810. 

" I have been cruizing* for these two months past between 
Bayonne and Santona." 

" In addition to the troops I have observed under arms, there 
has been a great proportion of armed peasantry at Baquio, a 
small place to the westward of Rachidaes ; as our boats were 
returning from destroying some batteries, they were attacked by 
armed peasantry alone, who were dispersed by shot from the ship, 
and also since they have assisted the French troops, when we 
captured a vessel laden with military stores from St. Andero." 

Mr. Stuart to general Walker. 

"Lisbon, February 20, 1811. 
" I own that from the various appointments which have lately 
taken place in their armies, I forbode little advantage in the 
course of the ensuing campaign ; it is perhaps needful to tell you 
that my fears are grounded on the nomination of the duke of 
Albuquerque to Gallicia, Castanos to Estremadura, Mahi to 
Murcia, Coupigny to Valencia, and the brother of O'Donnel to 

2 i 2 



Sir Howard Douglas to lord Wellington. 

" Villafranca, January 4, 1812. 

" Each chief is allowed three servants, a captain two, a 
subaltern one ; the number of soldiers employed in this way is 
certainly not under the regulation, and all officers resident in the 
interior likewise have this excessive indulgence. The officers' 
servants never do duty, or attend any drill or review. The cooks 
are in general changed weekly, and are never present at drill or 
review; one cook is allowed besides to every three Serjeants. 
These two items certainly take 5000 choice men from the ranks 
of this army." 

" Some very violent recriminations have been brought on by the 
imprudent reply of the military press, to some observations pub- 
lished in a Coruna paper extolling the Guerillas, and at the same 
time intended to convey a censure on the conduct of the army. 
I have had frequent conversations with general Abadia on the 
spirit of disunion which these two papers are sowing. He has at 
length prohibited the military press from publishing any thing 
but professional papers. I was present when he gave the order — 
he engaged me in the conversation, and I could not avoid observing, 
that what was lost could only be regained by the sword, not the 
pen. In this I alluded to the Asturias, where certainly repu- 
tation and public confidence were sacrificed. " 

" The truth is, the army is oppressive and expensive, as well as 
inefficient, from its disorganised state, particularly in the depart- 
ments of supply ; and it is a very unpleasant circumstance to hear 
it generally admitted, that a Spanish corps is much more destruc- 
tive to the country than an equal French army. There are also 
violent dissentions between the juntas of Leon and Gallicia : in- 
closure No. 6 will shew this state of feeling." 

Sir Howard Douglas to sir H. Wellesley. 

" Coruna, March 1, 1812. 
" On the 20th ultimo I had the honour to despatch to your 
excellency a copy of my letter of that date to lord Wellington, in 
which I acquainted his lordship that three battalions of the army 
of Gallicia are preparing for embarkation for America, and that 
I had positively declined making, and would not permit the deli- 
very of any British arms or stores for that service. I have now 
discovered, that in addition to these troops it is intended to send 
a division of horse -artillery, to equip which, orders have been 


given to transfer appointments from the cavalry of the army, and 
a demand is made for funds to prepare the ordnance, and even to 
adapt to colonial service more of the field-artillery which I lately 
delivered for the use of the sixth Gallician army. This measure 
has never been openly avowed by the government of Cadiz, it 
has never been communicated to the junta of this province by 
the regency. It has, I imagine, been concealed from your ex- 
cellency, and it has only come to my knowledge, by the arrange- 
ments no longer to be hidden, which general Abadia is making 
to carry it into effect." 


Extract of a Letter from Don Antonio Rocca. 


" Reus, January 20, 1811. 
" While we have venal men, ignorant men, and perfidious 
men in our government, no good can befal us. He must be mad 
who can expect our condition to ameliorate. The venal are those 
who, without being called, seemingly abandon their own affairs, 
and introduce themselves into the different branches of administra- 
tion with no other view than to enrich themselves at the public 
expense. The ignorant are those who think themselves wise, and 
who either obtain by intrigue or accept without reluctance em- 
ployments the duties of which they are not capable of discharging. 
The perfidious are all those who are indifferent spectators of this 
bloody struggle, and who care not for the issue, as they will 
equally submit to any master. Place no confidence, my friend, in 
these sort of persons, nothing can be expected from them, and yet 
by an inconceivable fatality which is attached to us, to the ruin of 
all parties, it would appear that the provinces employ none but 
these very people. Those who commend us are either venal or 
ignorant, or indifferent; at least the more we search for the 
remedy, the more our evil increases." 

Captain Codrington to sir Charles Cotton. 

" April 24, 1811. 
...... " With respect to the proposed plan of admitting sup- 
plies of grain in neutral vessels from the ports of the enemy, &c, 
I have no hesitation in saying I do not see sufficient reason to 
justify it in the present circumstances of this part of the Penin- 




sula, as I have always found bread for sale at the different places 
on the coast, at the rate of about two pounds and three quarters 
for the quarter of a dollar, at which price I yesterday bought 
it at Escala. And as there has been of late more corn at Tara- 
gona than money to purchase, I presume the latter has been the 
greater desideratum of the two." 

''The difficulty of allowing* a free passage of pro- 
visions from one part of the coast to the other would be lessened 
by being limited to vessels above the size of common fishing- 
boats, in which I have reason to believe considerable quantities 
have been carried to Barcelona ; and captain Bullen, I understand, 
found even a mortar in a boat of this description." 

General C. Doyle to captain Bullen. 

" Ripol, April, 1811. 

" Can you believe that in this town, the only fabric of arms, 

six months have passed without a firelock being made ! ! ! They 

begin to-morrow, and give me two hundred and fifty every 

week, &c." 

[Note. The italics and notes of admiration are in the original.] 

Admiral Freemantle to captain Codrington. 

" Mahon, May 19, 1811. 

" The uncertainty of every thing connected with Spanish 
affairs is such, that I am tired of writing and explaining all 
that arises from their inconsistency and want of energy. 

" Until eight o'clock I had understood that the intendant had 
procured one thousand quintals of biscuit for the army at Tara- 
gona, which number 1 find on inquiry has dwindled to fifty-seven 
bags. I have therefore been under the necessity of sending five 
hundred bags, which we can very ill spare, from our own stores, 
with a proportion of rice. I cannot tell you how much I have 
been worried and annoyed the last three days, particularly as 
I feel the very great importance Taragona is to the Spaniards, 
and how much this island is connected with the event of the fall 
of that fortress. The intendant here has wrote that he has sent 
two hundred and thirty-two bags of bread. You will have the 
goodness to explain that only fifty-seven were procured by him, 
which I have engaged to pay for, and that all the rest comes 
immediately from our own stores, and are consequently at the 
disposal of the British authorities at Taragona." 


Extract of a Letter from Sir Edward Pellew to captain 


" H. M. Ship Caledonia, July 22, 1811. 

" The indecision, inactivity, and apparent disunion amongst 

the Spanish leaders has been the great cause of failure throughout 

the whole of this arduous contest, and is especially observable in 

the late events in Catalonia ; nor until the patriots are directed by 

pure military councils and more energy and decision, can I permit 

myself to think that any effectual stand can be made against the 


Sir Edward Pellew to captain Codrington. 

" August 2, 1811. 
" I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, &c. The 
information therein conveyed affords me a very melancholy view 
of the affairs of the patriots, and gives me little reason to hope 
better things from their future exertions." • • • • " A despatch which 
reached me by the same opportunity from the superior junta of 
Catalonia contains a proposal for occupying a position on the coast 
as a naval depot, and the selection of Palamos is presented to my 
choice. It does not appear to me that the junta possesses at 
present resources for defending any such position, and from the 
measures being submitted to my determination, it seems to be 
expected that I should provide means of defending them while 
employed in securing themselves in their new station." " Yet 
whilst the noble spirit of this ill-fated people remains unsubdued, 
it would not be just to expect a total failure, although the loss 
of all confidence between them and the privileged orders, and the 
want of leaders among themselves who possess either skill or com- 
petency to guide them, afford but a very precarious prospect of 
their doing anything effectual to stop the invaders." 

Captain Codrington to sir E. Pellew. 

16 November 1, 1811. 
" By a letter from captain Strong it seems the people of Cada- 
gues in the early part of October openly refused assistance to the 
governor of the Medas islands, declaring that they only acknow- 
ledged the strongest party, and therefore paid their subscriptions 
to the French ; and that upon the Bustard's going with a party of 
Spanish troops to enforce obedience, they rang the alarm-bell 
as the signal for the approach of an enemy, and sent to Rosas 
for assistance." 



Extract of a Letter from captain Codrington to 
E. H. Locker, esq. 

" February 7, 1812. 
" Whilst the French pay the poor, who serve their purpose, 
at the expense of the rich, the Spaniards deal out severity to 
the lower classes, and oblige them to serve without pay and with- 
out clothes ; and the debauched and profligate of higher life are 
in many instances rewarded, for imbecility, ignorance, and in- 
difference to the fate of their country never yet exceeded, without 
one single example being made of the many traitors which have 
been discovered in the persons of priests, officers of rank, or what 
are termed gentlemen." 

Captain Codrington to general Lacy. 

" February 18, 1812. 
" Being an eye-witness of the discontent of the people, which 
has arisen from their being partially disarmed, and knowing how 
fatal have been the consequences which have followed these prac- 
tices on former occasions, I must own I cannot offer to the admiral 
my conviction of all that benefit arising from his good intentions 
in which I should otherwise have confided. The officers and men 
of the French army are walking about this part of the coast un- 
armed, because the juntas and justices have concealed the mus- 
kets they had at their disposal, and refused the people permis- 
sion to attack the enemy. In the mean time the poor people, 
whose hearts are burning with patriotism, are starving for want of 
bread, and the richer citizens of this devoted country are supplying 
the enemy with corn and other species of provisions." 

Captain Codrington to sir E. Pellew. 

" Villa Nueva, February 22, 1812. 
" I fear things are going on very ill in this principality from 
the sudden change in the system of general Lacy, and the con- 
sequent destruction of that confidence on the part of the people 
which was certainly the cause of his former successes. Nor can 
there be any doubt of the sound reason which guides the conduct 
of the Catalans on this occasion ; for the mode in which general 
Lacy effected the dishonourable breach of faith of which they 
complain, bespeaks a mind practised in deception. He ordered 
the patriotic companies to be sent to particular points in sub- 
divisions, at which points general Sarsfield was to take forcible 


possession of them, and attach them to different corps of the 
regular army. And the discovery of this treachery was made by 
the letter to general Sarsfield falling by mistake, into the hands of 
the officer who commanded the whole division of patriotic com- 
panies. In the meantime the discontent of the people gains 
ground with their sufferings, and instead of the Spanish army 
being increased by the late arbitrary mandate according to its 
avowed object, and not less probably in consequence of the late 
extraordinary conduct of general Sarsfield, many of the Catalan 
soldiers have actually passed over to the enemy." 

"The letter of the baron de Eroles in the gazette No. 10, 
shews that he was again deceived in the promised support of 
general Sarsfield on the 24th.. and I am told he says publicly it 
was part of a settled plan to sacrifice him and his whole division." 

Captain Codrington to sir E. Pellew. 

" Villa Nueva de Sitjes, February 22, 1812. 
" Nothing but a total change can produce permanent good ; 
for the villanies of the intendant and commissary departments are 
so thoroughly organized, that not one link of the chain can be 
left with safety. I have good reason to think that even the money 
furnished by England is so employed in the traffic of corn, by the 
individuals through whose hands it passes, as to be the direct 
means of supplying the enemy." 

Captain Codrington to Mr. H. Wellesley. 

" March 1, 1812. 
" The change of the regency will I trust produce a radical 
change of that diabolical system by which plunder has been openly 
licensed, and despotism and injustice towards the people, and 
even treachery itself, in those of a higher class, have hitherto 
passed with impunity." 


The councillor of state, Mariano Orquijo, to king Joseph. 

" Madrid, Decembre 4, 1810. 

" Je viens de voir le proviseur et vicaire general qui fut arrete 
a Logrogne par les insurges. Son opinion prononcee en faveur 
de V. M. lui a attire toutes sortesde mauvais traitemens et de dis- 
graces, mais enfin il est parvenu a se sauver de Valence. II m' a 



rapporte que l'esprit public de cette capitale a beaucoup change 
depuis que le general Caro (frere de Romana) s'est livre aux 
vexations et aux dilapidations de toute espece, et que son opi- 
nion est qu'on n'y eprouvera aucune resistance. L'Archeveque 
de Valence, qui jouit a present d'une grande influence, lui a 
souvent parle en secret d'une maniere favorable de V. M. et 
de ses ministres. C'est a l'Archeveque qu'il est redevable 
de son evasion. Ce prelat m'ayant connu ainsi que a M. de 
Montarco dans d'autres tems le chargea de nous voir. Le gene- 
ral Bassecourt n'etait nullement considere. Le proviseur ajoute, 
qua Alicant d'ou il est parti le 14 Novembre, tout etait rempli, 
. de refugies de Cadiz. D'apres tout ce qu'il m'a dit, je conte 
qu' aussitot la prise de Tortoze, Valence se rendra sans coup 
ferir. J'ai renvoye ce proviseur a Monsieur de Santa Fe qui 
l'a protege en sa qualite de ministre des affaires ecclesiastiques et 
qui fut tres sensible au malheur qui lui arriva a Logrogne." 

General Doyle to Mr. Stuart. 

" March 8, 1811. 
" There is a strong French party in Valencia. It is a sad 
thing that we cannot sacar Partido of that kingdom, in which are 
more resources than in all the other provinces of Spain. With 
my head I answer for it that in one month two thousand cavalry 
and twenty thousand infantry, independent of the existing army, 
which is one thousand five hundred effective cavalry and eleven 
thousand infantry, could be raised, and there is money enough 
within the city to pay them for six months, and without looking 
elsewhere for assistance to clothe them. There is abundance of 
cloth, and provisions in abundance, yet Valencia is doing nothing-! 
and this time so precious, while Massena draining all the rest 
of the Peninsula gives us time to organize. We want a 
Robespierre in the government, and another in every province ! ! " 

Colonel Roche to Mr. Stuart. 

« Carthagena, June 20, 1811. 
" After three years leaving them to themselves, this army 
(the Murcian) is everywhere in a worse state absolutely than it 
was in the commencement of the revolution." 

" The fact is that the Spaniards have no confidence in their 
general, nor he in them, and thus Freire apprehends if he fights 
his people will disperse. Valencia, with an immense population 
and great resources, is doing little. Bassecour retired to Cuenca. 


The same indolence, lassitude, and egotism prevails through the 
country, and I see little stimulus produced by the establishment 
of the cortes ; that feeling- of enthusiasm which existed is fast 
dying away. The thing in the world most agreeable to the 
Spaniards at this moment would be to be allowed to be neuter, and 
that England and France should fight the battle and pay all the 

Captain Codringto?i to the honourable H. Wellesley. 

" September 8, 1811. 
" After ascertaining that much art was employed to disgust the 
army with general Blake, and at the same time to prejudice the 
people against their officers, I relied upon the purity of my 
motives, and opened the subject to the general with the candour 
and freedom it required. I had great satisfaction in finding him 
well aware of all that was passing, and upon his guard as to the 
consequences. Upon my mentioning that certain hand-bills were 
posted up, he produced and gave met he enclosed copies. He 
told me that upon obtaining them he went to the marquis of 
Palacios, who, necessarily agreeing in their evil tendency, consented 
to accompany the general to the palace of the archbishop, where 
I trust measures were adopted to prevent a repetition of the 
misconduct of the Padre Igual and his numerous bigoted coad- 
jutors. I submitted to the general's attention the fatal effects of 
his quitting this part of the Peninsula, while the minds of the 
people were in such a state of fermentation, and allowing the 
supreme authority to revert to the marquis of Palacios. He 
assured me that he clearly saw the danger which would arise from 
it ; he had determined on no account to do so until the marquis 
was removed by the government from his present situation." 

Mr. Tuppers report to sir H. Wellesley. 


" January 27, 1812. 

" The scandalous behaviour of the members of the junta will 
have more influence upon the public mind, will dishearten the 
people even more than the fall of Valencia and the dispersion of 
the army. For seeing their representatives return to their re- 
spective districts, it will give an example to follow that all is 
lost, and having no authority to protect them or to look to, the 
people have no other resource left than to submit to the yoke of 
the enemy." 


Extracts from Mr. Tuppers report to sir Henry Wellesley 
from 22 to 27 January, 1812. 

" Blake with his immense resources remained altogether in- 
active, and contented himself with observing the movements of the 
enemy, and his progress in fortifying himself under the walls of 
the city." 

" With Blake's approbation I had raised a corps of about 
one hundred and eighty men to act as guerillas, and by beginning a 
plan of offensive operations I expected to see the example followed. 
I also demanded the direction of the chief battery, that of Santa 
Catalina, from whence the French camp might be much annoyed, 
and for the space of thirty successive days caused the French 
considerable damage in killed and wounded. Excepting this 
battery, that of St. Joseph contiguous to it, and that of the Puente 
del Mar, every thing else remained in a state of complete in- 
activity. Blake, lulled into a state of confidence that the enemy 
would not attack without reinforcements, had taken no measures 

" The junta of Valencia was composed of members, as per list 
enclosed, of which only the first remained, the others having before 
retired and shamefully gone to their respective homes ; but upon the 
fall of the capital where they had their property, those remaining 
sent in their resignation to Mahi, and without being competent to 
do so, gave up the only representative authority of the province 
which had been confided to them, and have thus thrown the whole 
country into a state of anarchy, abandoning it altogether to the 
will of the enemy ; yet I am persuaded the spirit of the people is 
the same, great resources are left in the province, immense riches 

still remain in the churches, convents, diezmos, &c, &c." 

" I am however sorry to say that since the fall of the capital, nay, 
since the battle of the 26th ultimo, not a single step has been 
taken, and at this moment outside the walls of Alicant the province 
does not exist. — Mahi has objected to Padre Rico, the only man in 
my opinion, and in that of every body, capable of giving activity and 
soul to the resources of the country." 

"lam sorry to inform your excellency that after re- 
peated interviews with Mahi and the intendant Rivas, on the 
subject of the commission I had proposed, I am now clearly of 
the opinion from the repeated delays and studied objections that no 

authority will be established." " In short nothing has been 

done, and nothing will be done." 


" I am firmly of opinion that the people now in authority are 
disposed, by leaving public affairs in their present abandoned state, 

to submit to the French yoke." " On the 16th ultimo, when 

Montbrun made his appearance, the Ayuntamiento desired the 
Syndico Personeso to give a petition in the name of the people to 
enter into a capitulation ; he refused ; but I am informed there 
was some arrangement between the governor and the Ayunt- 
amiento, the members whereof remain in office notwithstanding 
their traitorous conduct on the 16th." 


General Graham to Mr. Stuart. 

9th May, 1810. 
" Nothing new here ; the regency and the junta are as usual 
more asleep than awake, and I can augur nothing good from the 
government remaining in such hands — let their intentions be ever 
so good. Nothing but the assembly of the cortes, and from 
thence springing up a revolutionary system, overturning abuses 
and interesting the people in their own cause by solid and perma- 
nent, instead of contingent and prospective reforms, calling forth 
talents if to be found for the chief situations, and inforcing vigour 
and rousing enthusiasm. Nothing but some great change (such 
as we might in the beginning have assisted in bringing about) can 
carry on this war to any good result. The people are obstinate 
in their hatred of the French, and from that alone spring the fits 
of patriotism and loyalty which keep alive the flame in some place 
or another. That it is so one cannot doubt from the effects, but 
it is never to be met with where one is, at least I have never yet 
seen enthusiasm though 1 have heard of it. Hence the bulk of 
the people seem to be completely indifferent to what is going on, 
and all seem most unwilling to submit to the deprivation of any 
comfort, and to the sacrifices which a state of siege requires. 
They would be very well pleased to have any thing done for them, 
and to see the enemy driven away, that they might go to eat 
strawberries at Chiclana, and they are much disposed to blame our 
inactivity, especially that of the navy, in permitting the enemy to 
have advanced so near on the point of Trocadero. The destruc- 
tion of these two forts at first was certainly a great error in 
admiral Purvis ; had they been kept up and well garrisoned, as 
they support one another, it would have been a very tedious opera- 



tion to have reduced them. Meanwhile you will hear that the 
improvidence of the junta, and their denial of any such risk to 
Mr.Wellesley, placed the bread provision of the town in much too 
precarious a situation ; in short, they completely deceived him by 
their assurances of the most ample means of subsistence, and 
both flour and wheat have been sent away since he came." 

Mr. Wellesley to Mr. Stuart. 

" Isla de Leon, February 5, 1811. 
" Blake is becoming very unpopular, and I think his reign will 
be short. He is supposed to be by no means partial to the 
English. I know not whether you will approve of the appoint- 
ments to Estremadura and Gallicia, but I am sure you will be 
surprised to hear that general Mahi is appointed to command the 
army of the centre. I communicated confidentially to general 
Blake the copy of the letter which you forwarded to me from 
general Walker, taking care to conceal general Walker's name, 
so that Blake was fully apprised of our opinion of general 
Mahi previously to his appointment of him to the command in 

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Stuart. 

" Cadiz, February 27. 1811. 

" It grieves me to see from day to day how little is done by 
the Spaniards, and how little is likely to be done. The cortes 
have not given a new impulse to the war as was expected. They 
look to their regency for plans of reform for their armies, and their 
regency is worse than any former government. Blake, of whom 
I know that you as well as the world in general have a good 
opinion, does nothing. He refuses to reform abuses that are 
pointed out to him, passes his days in deliberation upon questions 
of no moment, and is in my opinion decidedly adverse to the 
English. Whittingham's plan, (disciplining a separate corps,) 
which was approved of before his arrival, he has endeavoured by 
every kind of trick to reject or render useless.*' 

" The cortes is full of priests, who, united with the Catalans, 
are for preserving the old routine of business, and adverse to 
every thing that can give energy and vigour to the operations of 
government. Fanaticism and personal interest direct their 
opinions ; Arguelles and his party are anxious that something- 
should be done to remedy the disgraceful state of their armies. 


I have no doubt but that they would remove the present govern- 
ment, though the friends of Blake, if there was any chance of 
the Catalan party permitting them to elect a better." 

" Be assured, my dear Stuart, that the cortes is, as at present 
constituted, any thing but revolutionary or Jacobinical. They love 
their monarchy, and are anxious to maintain the inquisition in all 
its forms, the only branch of government to which they seem 
disposed to communicate any energy. If there is not soon some 
new spirit infused into the cortes, it will become an overgrown 
junta, meddling with every paltry detail of police, and neglecting 
the safety of their country — and the regency will be content to 
reign (very badly) over Cadiz and the Isla." 

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Stuart. 

" Cadiz, August 5, 1811. 

" The temper of the public mind at Cadiz is very bad, the 
press has lately teemed with publications filled with reproaches of 
the English." 

" The regency and cortes have lost all influence every where, 
and tbe distress for money added to the general depression here 
after the campaign in Estremadura may possibly throw us into a 
state of anarchy." 

" lam somewhat alarmed by the state of the Serranos de 
Ronda; the Spanish generals have been quarrelling, and the 
peasants declare they are tired of the abuses committed there, and 
that it is reported they mean to capitulate with the French." 

General Graham to Mr. Stuart. 

" Isla de Leon, April 24, 1811. 
" The Spanish government has published an official narrative 
of the expedition (Barosa) full of misrepresentations and blinking 
the question of the cause of failure entirely — this has obliged me 
to add something to what I wrote before to Mr. Wellesley. There 
are some instances of impudence supporting falsehood beyond 
example. The proud Spaniard is no less vain I think." 

General Graham to Mr. Stuart. 

" Isla, May 6, 1811. 

" The government here supported by the cortes seemed to be 

determined to adhere with blind obstinacy and pride to a system 

that has nearly brought the cause to ruin, and notwithstanding 



Lord Wellington's great efforts they are playing Buonaparte's 
game so positively that I despair of any great good." 

Colonel Austin to Mr. Stuart. 

" Faro, March 24, 1811. 
" Whether Ballesteros is authorized by his government to 
pursue the steps he has taken, I know not, but I certainly can- 
not but consider them as just and necessary. The junta de 
Seville is a mere farce supported at an immense expense without 
the least utility or benefit, and preserving in its train a number of 
idle characters who ought to be employed in the defence of the 
nation, but who now only add to its burthens. I have had many 
negotiations with the junta, and though I have always kept up 
appearances through policy, yet I have found, in the room of the 
honour and candour which ought to characterize it, nothing but 
chicanery and dissimulation." 

General Carrol to Mr. Stuart. 

" OHvenza, April 29, 1811. 
" Would to Heaven that the Spanish armies, or, move pro- 
perly speaking, the skeletons of the Spanish armies were under 
his lordship's (Wellington's) command ; we might in that case do 
great things, but alas ! our pride seems to increase with our 
misfortunes, and is only equalled by our ignorance !" 

Mr. Stuart to Lord Wellesley. 

" July 13, 1811. 

" I have endeavoured to throw together the numbers, &c. of 
the different guerillas, &c, which clearly demonstrate the false 
exaggerations circulated respecting that description of force ; 
though their appearance in different parts has most unreasonably 
encreased the alarm of the enemy and proportionable confidence 
of the Spaniards, they cannot be calculated to exceed in the 
aggregate twenty-five or thirty thousand men at the utmost." 

Note. Here follows a list of the Partidas with their numbers 
and stations too long to insert. 

Mr. Wellesley to Mr. Stuart. 

" Cadiz, July 31, 1811. 
" Nothing can be more wretched than the state of affairs here ; 
the regents are held in universal contempt, and such is the want 
of talent, I can hardly hope that a change will make any improve- 
ment : the treasury is empty, and no probability of the arrival 


of any money from America, so that affairs are really in a worse 
state than they have been at any time since the commencement 
of the war." 

Extract from the manifesto of the Spanish regency. 

" January 23, 1812. 

" There have reached the government the cries of the 
armies which defend us, depicting- their painful privations ; the 
groans of the inhabitants of districts, ready to fall under the yoke 
of the barbarous invaders ; the complaints of the provinces already 
occupied, always loyal though oppressed and laid waste." 

" Cease now, and henceforward, all personal pretensions ; 
the ill-understood feelings of interest dictated by provincial 
spirit; exemptions unjustly demanded at this period of desolation, 
writings which, while they ought to create the most ardent 
patriotism, to unite and enlighten the nation, appear inspired by 
the enemy for the purpose of enslaving it." 

section 5. 


Captain Codrington to sir E. Pellew. 

" Arens de Mar, Auyust 23, 1811. 
" I have numberless complaints of the Spanish privateers that 
come upon the coast, and I am sure it would be a benefit to the 
country if they were all deprived of their commission. They do 
nothing but plunder the inhabitants of those places which are 
occasionally overrun by the French armies, and who embrace 
the opportunity of their absence to carry on a little trade with 
other parts of the Peninsula." 

Ditto to sir H. Wellesley. 

" Valencia, September 8, 1811. 
" I trust some decisive measures will be taken to abolish 
altogether a system of privateering nothing' short of piracy ; and 
in which the vessels from Gibraltar seem to take the lead. I 
have great reason to believe that they plunder the unfortunate 
vessels of all countries by hoisting whatever colours may answer 
their purposes of assumed national hostility ; and as we never hear 
of their attacking each other, I have no doubt that the British 
and French flags are often united in furtherance of this predatory 

VOL. IV 2 K 



warfare. The numberless complaints which I receive from all 
parts of the coast, and the difficulty of trading betwixt Catalonia 
and Valencia, on account of the privateers which swarm in these 
seas, drive many into an intercourse with Barcelona and other 
places in the occupation of the enemy, in order to get a livelihood. " 

Ditto to admiral Penrose, Valencia. 
" The depredations of the Gibraltar privateers have been 
carried on to such an extent, in all parts of the Mediterranean, as 
to bring- serious reflections upon the British flag." 

section 6. 


Captain Codrington to E. Locker, Esq. 

" September 18, 1811. 
" I cannot at all events think it a wise measure to receive into 
colonel Whittingham's corps the prisoners at Cabrera, who have 
long ago withstood the offers of general Roche, when naked as 
they were born, and fighting for each other s miserable rations 
to prolong an existence inconceivably wretched, in hopes of 
rejoining the French." 

Sir H. Wellesley to captain Codrington. 

" October 10, 1811. 
u With regard to the French prisoners at Cabrera, I procured 
from the Spanish government long since an order to the governor 
of the Balearic Islands to suspend all negotiations with the French 
on that subject, and not on any account to consent to exchange 

No. II. 


Captain Codrington to sir C. Cotton. 

" Taragona, May 15, 1811. 

" During the panic which seems to have prevailed upon the 

unexpected arrival of the French army, the greatest exertions 

and the most extensive sacrifices appear to have been readily 


submitted to. But from the present apathy and indifference in 
those who should set an example of activity, and from the general 
deficiency of ordnance stores, I by no means consider the place in 
that state of security which the strength of its works and position 
would otherwise lead me to expect." 

" A well planned sortie was made yesterday, but failed through 
the backwardness of some of the officers employed in it." — " I 
had the satisfaction of being' assured by an officer, who con- 
spicuously did his duty on this occasion, and who was outflanked 
by the enemy, from the backwardness of the column directed to 
support him, that he attributes the salvation of his troops entirely 
to the fire from the shipping." 

Ditto to ditto. 
" Blake, off Villa Nueva, June 15, 1811. 

" Leaving Taragona on the 16th (May), we reached Peniscola 
in the forenoon of the 17th." — " From thence general Doyle 
wrote to general O'Donnel an account of the situation of Taragona 
and of my detaining captain Adam at Peniscola, in readiness to 
receive any reinforcement which he might be pleased to send 
to that garrison. Upon our arrival off Murviedro, we found 
general O Donnel had already ordered the embarkation of two 
thousand three hundred infantry and two hundred and eleven 
artiilery-men." — " Delivering to general O'Donnel two thousand 
stand of arms, accoutrements, and clothing- to enable him to 
bring into the field as many recruits already trained as would 
supply the place of the regular soldiers ; thus detached from his 
army, we proceeded to Valencia and landed the remainder of our 
cargo, by which means the troops of general Villa Campa, then 
dispersed as peasantry for want of arms, were enabled again to 
take the field, and the corps of Mina and the Empecinado com- 
pleted in all the requisites of active warfare." 

" At Alicant we proceeded to take in as many necessary materials 
for Taragona as the ship would actually stow, besides eighty ar- • 
tillery men and a considerable quantity of powder, ball-cartridge, 
&c. sent in the Paloma Spanish corvette from Carthagena in 
company with a Spanish transport from Cadiz deeply laden with 
similar supplies." 

" After returning to Valencia, where we landed the additional 
arms, &c. for the Aragonese army, we moved on to Murviedro, 
where the conde of Bispal proceeded from Valencia to join us in 
a consultation with his brother, although, on account of his 

2 k 2 


wound, he was very unfit for such a journey. The result of this 
conference was a determination on the part of general O'Donnel 
to commit to my protection, for the succour of Taragona, another 
division of his best troops under general Miranda, consisting of 
four thousand men, whilst he himself would move forward with 
the remainder of his army to the banks of the Ebro." 

" The frequent disappointments which the brave Catalonian 
army had heretofore met with from Valencian promises, made the 
sight of so extensive and disinterested a reinforcement the more 
truly welcome, because the less expected, and the admiration 
which was thus created in the besieged appeared to produce pro- 
portionate anxiety on the part of the enemy." 

" I shall direct the whole of my attention to the neighbourhood 
of Taragona, in readiness for harassing the retreat of the French, 
if general Suchet should unfortunately be obliged to raise the 
siege, and for reembarking and restoring to general O'Donnel 
whatever may remain of the Valencian troops, according to the 
solemn pledge he exacted from me before he would consent thus 
to part with the flower and strength of his army. He even went 
so far as to declare, in the presence of general Miranda, the prin- 
cipal officer of his staff, general Doyle, captain Adam, captain 
White, and myself, that he considered me as entirely answerable 
for the safety of the kingdom of Valencia, and that if I failed 
in redeeming my pledge he would resign his command for that 
particular account." 

" It is but justice to myself, however, that I should tell you 
that I did most distinctly warn general O'Donnel, that I would 
in no case answer for his army if placed under the immediate 
command of Campo Verde, for any distant inland operation, more 
particularly as I knew that, in addition to his own deficiency in 
ability, he was surrounded by people whose advice and whose 
conduct was in no case to be relied on." 

Ditto to ditto. 

" Blake, Taragona, June 22, 1811. 
" I found upon my last return here an arrangement made, that 
in case of the enemy gaining the Puerto, general Sarsfield should 
retire to the Mole with part of his division, from whence I had 
only to assist, but was much astonished to find, by a message, 
through colonel Green, from general Contreras, that although he 
had heard of such a disposition being made by general Sarsfield, 
and assented to by the English squadron, it had not his official 


knowledge or approbation."—" I understand that an order had 
arrived in the morning from the marquis of Campo Verde for 
general Velasco to take the command of the Puerto, and for 
general Sarsfield to join his army, that the latter had given up 
his command to some colonel at about three o'clock, who was, by 
his own confession, totally unfit for it, and that general Velasco 
only arrived in time to find the Spanish troops flying in confusion 
from the want of being properly commanded and the French 
assaulting the place." 

Captain Codrington to sir E. Pellew. 

" Mattaro, November 1, 1811. 
" Having stated in a letter to sir Charles Cotton, on the 22d 
June last, that I understand general Sarsfield had quitted the 
Puerto and embarked without the knowledge of general Contreras, 
(which indeed was the substance of a message sent me by ge- 
neral Contreras himself,) I owe it to an officer of general 
Sarsfield's high military character to declare my conviction that 
the statement there made by general Contreras is absolutely 
false and unfounded, and I beg leave to enclose in justification of 
my present opinion; 1st, a passport sent by general Contreras 
to general Sarsfield in consequence as he alleged of an order from 
the marquis of Campo Verde. 2d. An extract from the mani- 
festo of the marquis, in which he disavows having any knowledge 
of the passports. 3d. A letter from general Contreras to ge- 
neral Sarsfield in answer to one written by the latter requesting to 
see the order by which he was directed to quit the Puerto at such 
a critical moment, in which he says ' that he cannot send him a 
copy of that letter, because it is confidential, but that his presence 
is necessary at the head-quarters to assist in the operations about 
to take place for the relief of the garrison, and that he has not a 
moment to lose.' 4th. The copy of another letter written on 
the same day by general Contreras to the superior junta, in which 
he says that general Sarsfield quitted the Puerto without his 
knowledge ! ! !" 

General Doyle to colonel Roche. 

" June 23, 1811. 
" Is it possible to conceive any thing so absurd, and I could 
almost say wicked, as the conduct of the junta or captain-gene- 
ral of Cartagena in taking away the firelocks from the regiments 
they sent with such a parade of their patriotism to relieve 


Taragona. Two thousand men are already in this city without 
firelocks, such is the daily destruction of arms by the enemy's 
fire and the getting out of repair from constant use." 

Captain Codrington to sir Charles Cotton. 

" Off Taragona, June 23, 1811. 
" Another regiment arrived from Carthagena yesterday under 
convoy of the Cossack, but, as on a former occasion, their arms 
were taken from them by colonel Roche, upon their going to 
embark, and therefore, as being of no use to the garrison, I 
have by desire of the general sent them to Villa Nueva, and as 
there are already 2000 men in the place without arms, I have 
sent the Termagant to Carthagena, to endeavour to procure those 
which have been thus inconsiderately taken from the troops 
belonging to that place." 

Captain Codrington to sir C. Cotton. 


" June 29, 1811. 
" The Regulus with five transports including a victualler ar- 
rived with colonel Skene tt and his detachments on the 26th. 
The surf was so great on that day that we had no other commu- 
nication in the forenoon than by a man swimming on shore with 
a letter, and upon colonel Skerrett putting questions to general 
Doyle and myself upon the conduct he should pursue according 
to his orders, we agreed in our opinion that although the arrival 
of the troops before the Puerto (lower town) was taken would 
probably have saved the garrison, it was now too late, and that 
their being landed, if practicable, would only serve to prolong the 
fate of the place for a very short time at the certain sacrifice of 
the whole eventually. This opinion was grounded on a number 
of different circnmstances, and was in perfect coincidence with 
that of captains Adam and White. In the evening the surf 
abated sufficiently for general Doyle, colonel Skerrett, and some 
of his officers, as well as the captains of the squadron and my- 
self, to wait upon general Contreras, who repeated his determination 
to cut his way out and join the marquis of Campo Verde the 
instant the enemy's breaching battery should open, and which 
he expected would take place the following morning, and who 
agreed the English ought not to land with any view of defending 
the town, although he wished them to join in his meditated sortie." 


Extracts from general Contreras' report. 

" I saw myself reduced to my own garrison." " I considered 
if my force was capable of this effort (defending the breach^, 
one of the most heroic that war furnishes, and to which few men 
can bring themselves. I recollected however that I had still 
eight thousand of the best and most experienced troops in 
Spain." "■ All conspired against this poor garrison. Campo 
Verde in quitting the place promised to come back quickly to its 
succour, but he did not, although he daily renewed his promises. 
The kingdom of Valencia sent Miranda with a division which 
disembarked, and the day following re-embarked and went to 
join Campo Verde. 

" An English division came on the 26th, colonel Skerrett, who 
commanded them, came in the evening to confer with me and to 
demand what I wished him to do. 1 replied that if he would 
disembark and enter the place, he should be received with joy 
and treated as he merited ; that he had only to choose the 
point that he wished to defend and I would give it to him, 
but that all was at his choice, since I would neither command 
nor counsel him. The 27th the English commandants of ar- 
tillery and engineers came to examine the front attacked, and 
being convinced that the place was not in a state to resist, re- 
turned to their vessels, and then all went away from the place they 
came to succour. 

" This abandonment on the part of those who came to save 
was the worst of all ; it made such an impression on the 
soldiers, that they began to see that they were lost, became 
low-spirited and only resisted from my continual exhortations, and 
because they saw my coolness and the confidence I had, that if 
they executed my orders the French would fail. But thi3 only 
lasted a few hours, the notion of being abandoned again seized 
them and overcame all other ideas." 

Captain Codrington to sir C. Cotton. 

" 12th July, 1811. 
" The vacillating conduct of general Contreras regarding the 
defence of Taragona is a principal feature in the loss of that 
important fortress. " 




Captain Codrington to sir E. Pellew. 

" \2th July, 1811. 
" The marquis blames generals Caro and Miranda, whilst 
the latter retort the accusation ; and I am inclined to think that 
in giving full credit to what each says of the other, neither will 
suffer ignominy beyond that to which his conduct has entitled 

Ditto to Mr. Wellesley. * 


" 20th July, 1811. 

" The disasters which have befallen the principality will 
produce material accusations against the generals who lately 
commanded in it, without, I fear, any of them meeting the 
punishment which is their due. Some of the enclosed papers 
may help you to form a just opinion of their conduct and that of 
the Spanish marine ; and those respecting the arms for which I 
sent to Carthagena will show how far colonel Roche is entitled 
to the merit which he so largely assumes on that occasion." 

" To enable you to form a correct opinion of general Contreras 
I must refer you to general Doyle, as from his ignorance of our 
service, the various requests and proposals which arose from the 
vacillations in what he called his determinations, were signified 
to me through him. It does not appear to me that he ever visited 
the works himself, or it would not have fallen to the lot of captain 
Adams and myself to remove two boats, two large stages, sixteen 
gun-carriages, and a mortar from the mole, long after the French 
were advanced beyond the Francoli battery, and two nights pre- 
vious to their gaining the Puerto ; an accidental visit to the mole 
one night, just after placing the gun-boats and launches, disco- 
vered to me this mortar with no less than twelve guns in readiness 
for forming a battery ; and upon general Doyle, by my request, 
representing this to the general of artillery, he talked of in- 
quiring into it to-morrow." 

" It would be a waste of words to describe further the conduct 
of the general of artillery, or I might find sufficient subject in 
the events of every passing day from the first investment of the 
place." — " I shall be very ready to come forward personally in 
aid of that justice which is due to the numberless brave men who 
fell a sacrifice to the criminality of the persons alluded to who 
have so grossly misconducted themselves." 



Captain Codrington to sir E. Pellew. 

" 29th July, 1811. 
" Had colonel Green, the military agent appointed to succeed 
general Doyle, adopted the plan of his predecessor of continuing 
at the head-quarters of the army and in personal communication 
with the captain-general instead of retiring to Peniscola with the 
money and arms remaining, we should not be left as we are to 
the precarious source of mere accidental communications for 
receiving intelligence." 

Ditto to Don F. Savartes, vocal of the Junta. 

" 2$thJuly, 1811. 
" Colonel Green, the British military agent, being at Pe- 

niscola, I have opened the letter from the junta to him." — " Had 
I not in this instance opened the letters to the admiral and the 
military agent, the junta would have received no answer to them 
until it would have been too late to execute their object." 

Captain Thomas to captain Codrington. 


" H.M. S. Undaunted, off Arens, 1th Oct. 1811. 

" Having observed, in the Catalonia Gazette of the 24th of 
September, the copy of a letter said to be written by colonel 
Green to his excellency general Lacy, relative to our operations 
on the Medas Islands, from the surrender of the castle to the 
period of our quitting them, I beg leave to state to you my 
surprise and astonishment at seeing facts so grossly misrepre- 
sented, and request you will be pleased to contradict in the most 
positive manner the assertions there made use of. To prove how 
inconsistent this letter is with real facts, it may be necessary for 
me only to say that colonel Green, in the presence and hearing of 
all the English officers, on my asking him a question relative to 
the practicability of keeping the island, did declare that he had 
nothing to do with the expedition ; that my instructions pointed 
him out as a volunteer only. But immediately after, in the 
hearing of all, did declare it to be his opinion that the island was 
not tenable. 

" As I understood it was intended to form an establishment on 



the larger island, I judged it proper to retire from it for a short 
time and destroy the remains of the castle, which might induce 
the enemy to withdraw from the works he had thrown up, and 
thereby afford our ally an opportunity whenever he chose to oc- 
cupy them again, to fortify himself without molestation ; and this 
supposition it has appeared was well grounded. But while the 
ruins of the castle stood, it was an object of jealousy to the French ; 
nor would they in my opinion have quitted the ground they occu- 
pied, nor the Spaniards have been enabled to settle themselves, 
had this measure not been adopted. I therefore gave orders for 
embarking- the guns and stores. 

" If necessary, I could say much more on the subject of this 
most extraordinary letter ; the few remarks I have made will, I 
think, be sufficient. As an act of courtesy to colonel Green, on 
landing the marines I directed the marine officers to receive their 
orders from him ; but military aid was not necessary, for you 
may recollect before the expedition sailed, on your informing me 
that general Lacy had offered some Spanish troops, and asking- 
how many I thought would be necessary, my answer was ' about 
forty ; ' and I have no hesitation in declaring that without the 
assistance of even a single soldier the castle would have fallen into 
our hands as speedily as it did on this occasion. 

section 3. 

Captain Codringtoris orders to captain Adam of the 

" July 1st, 1811. 

" You are hereby directed, in consequence of a representation 
made to me by general Doyle, to proceed towards Majorca in 
search of the Spanish frigates Prueba, Diana, and Astrea, which 
the general reports to be going to that island (contrary to orders) 
with the treasure, archives of the province, and the vessels laden 
with stores and ammunition destined for the inland fortresses of 
Catalonia, together with the officers and soldiers which were saved 
from Taragona, and which are required to join the army imme- 
diately. Upon meeting them you are to deliver the accompanying 
order for them to return here, and you are, if necessary, to enforce 


Captain Codrington to sir Charles Cotton. 

" Villa Nueva, 3d July, 1811. 
" I should feel the more hurt by being driven to adopt such a 
measure had not the whole conduct both of the Prueba and Diana 
made their captains a disgrace to the situation they hold. These 
two frigates remained quiet spectators of the British squadron 
engaging the batteries of the enemy on the 22d of last month, 
and never attempted to give any assistance to the garrison, except 
by now and then sending a gun-boat to join those manned by the 
English. They did not assist in the embarkation of the num- 
berless women, children, and wounded soldiers, until goaded into 
it by the orders of general Contreras, after I had already sent 
above two thousand to this place ; and even when I had no longer 
any transports for their reception, the captain of the Prueba 
refused to receive some wounded officers." 

Ditto to ditto. 

" 18th July, 1811. 
" I cannot describe to you the difficulties which I have been 
put to by the misconduct of all the Spanish ships and vessels of 
war which I have had to communicate with upon the coast, with 
exception of the Astrea frigate and the Paloma corvette. In the 
others I have seen neither courage to oppose the enemy nor huma- 
nity to alleviate the distresses of their countrymen." — " I have 
heard also that the Algesiras, which lately arrived at Arens, has 
landed the stores and ammunition, with which she was charged, 
at the risk of their falling into the hands of the enemy, and has 
quitted the station ! " 

section 4. 

Captain Codrington to sir E, Pellew. 

" 12th July, 1811. 

" General Milans is collecting a mixture of troops, consisting 
of those who have escaped the enemy." 

" He speaks loudly of his indifference to a command, while he 
boasts that if he were captain-general he would raise forty thou- 
sand men and clear the country of the enemy ! But in the midst 
of this disgusting rhodomontade it is not difficult to see that self- 
interest is the main spring of all his actions, and that instead of 
raising an army he is more likely, by the system he has adopted, 


to shake the stability of that which is still left for the defence of 
the principality." 

Captain Codrington to sir H. Welleshy. 

" September 1, 1811. 
" The affair of general Milans" (namely, the sending of corn to 
Barcelona under his passport) " which I mentioned to you in my 
last private letter, is still involved in mystery, which I hope how- 
ever to penetrate upon my return to Arens de Mar. The Mataro 
papers reported that two soldiers were shot and a serjeant flogged 
at Arena for suffering corn to pass their guard at Mongat on its 
way to Barcelona. The fact of the punishment is I believe truly 
stated, but the cause no less falsely, enterely as I suspect with the 
view of terminating my investigation into this nefarious traffic. 
General Lacy, instead of answering my letter, refers me by word 
of mouth to the junta, and the deputation from the junta, who 
went to Mataro (as they assured me) purposely to investigate the 
business, now tell me that it is an affair purely military, and refer 
me to general Milans himself. 

section 5. 

Extract from a minute made by captain Codrington. 

" Mattaro, July 6, 1811. 
" Colonel O'Ronan, aid-du-camp to the marquis of Campo 
Verde, arrived, and informed me that he came from the marquis, 
who was on his march to this town or Arens, for the purpose of 
embarking all the infantry not Catalans, and the whole of the 
remaining cavalry, leaving the horses on the beach. Colonel 
O'Ronan said this determination was the result of a junta, com- 
posed of the marquis, general St. Juan, general Caro, general 
Miranda, the general of artillery, brigadier Santa Cruz, Velasco, 
and Sarsfield ; that after the thing had been proposed and dis- 
cussed a long time, Sarsfield was the first to give his vote, that he 
rose from his seat and said, ' any officer who could give such an 
opinion must be a traitor to his country, and that he and his 
division would stand or fall with the principality." Every other 
officer was of a contrary opinion, except the marquis (it afterwards 
appeared that Santa Cruz also supported Sarsfield), who thought 
with Sarsfield, and yet it seems he allowed himself to be led on by 
the other generals. In short, it appears he was resolved to 
abandon the principality . 


" I told him, without hesitation, that to embark the Valencians 
I felt a duty to general O'Donnel, to the kingdom of Valencia, 
and to the whole nation, but that I felt it equally my duty upon 
no account to embark the army of Catalonia, and thus become a 
party concerned in the abandonment of a province I had been sent 
to protect." — " The colonel, who could not venture on shore 
again lest he should be murdered by the inhabitants of Mattaro, 
for having been the bearer of a commission to arrest brigadier 
Milans about a month ago, sent to the marquis my answer." 

Extract from a minute of information given by the baron 

" July 9, 1811. 
" The baron d'Eroles was appointed captain-general of Cata- 
lonia by the junta of general officers, of which the marquis of 
Campo Verde was president, and by the voice of the people. His 
reply was, that so long as the army continued in the principality, 
and that there was a senior general officer, he would not admit it, 
but that the moment the army passed the frontier (it was then at 
Agramunt, in full march to Aragon), he would accept the com- 
mand, unmindful of the dreadful situation in which he should 
place himself, but he would do so in order to continue the struggle, 
and to prevent anarchy and confusion. In this state things were 
when general Lacy arrived. The baron instantly sought him, 
could not find, but met one of his aid-du-camps, by whom he 
wrote to him to say what had occurred, but that he was resolved 
to support general Lacy in his command, not only with all his 
local influence, but by his personal exertions, and that he would 
immediately join him to put this resolution in practice." 

Extract from general Doyle's Letter after seeing the above. 
" The Valencian division, that is to say, two thousand four 
hundred of the four thousand three hundred soldiers who disem- 
barked in this province, are now on board to return to Valencia. 
General Miranda says the desertion took place in consequence of 
the marquis's determination to proceed to Aragon, which made 
them believe they would not be embarked. In short, most dis- 
graceful has been the conduct of this division, and the marquis, as 
you will see by this letter to me, attaches to it no small portion 
of blame." 


Captain Codrington to the marquis of Campo Verde. 

" Blake, July 5, 1811. 

" I have to remind you that by ordering- the Valencian division 

out of Taragona, in breach of the terms by which I bound myself 

when I brought them, you yourself broke the pledge given by me, 

and dissolved the contract." 

Extracted from captain Codring ton's papers. 

" Minute of a conference betwixt generals Caro and Miranda with 

general Doyle and myself this day. 

" July 9, 1811. 

" About eight o'clock generals Caro and Miranda came on board 
the Blake. After being seated in the cabin with general Doyle 
and myself, general Caro begged general Doyle would explain to 
me, that they were come in consequence of my promise, to request 
I would embark the division of Valencian troops which I had 
brought from Peniscola. I desired to know what promise general 
Caro understood me to have made ? He answered, that I would 
take the above troops back to Valencia. 1 denied positively that I 
had made any promise to re-embark them if they should ever join 
the marquis of Campo Verde, although I had deeply pledged my- 
self to restore them to general O'Donnel if they joined in a sortie 
from the garrison, which I was very confident would be decisive 
of its success. I then referred general Miranda to a similar ex- 
planation, which I gave to him, through general Doyle, on the day 
after our quitting Peniscola, when he had said he was ordered, 
both by his written instructions and by verbal explanation from 
general O'Donnel, not to land within the garrison. General 
Miranda instantly repeated that so he was ; upon which general 
Doyle, to whom he had shewn those instructions jointly with my- 
self, after leaving Taragona for Villa Nueva, when under a diffi- 
culty as to how he should proceed, referred him to them again, 
when it appearing that he was therein positively ordered ' desem- 
barear en la plaza de Tarragona," general Doyle stopped. 

" General Miranda. ' Ah ! but read on/ 

" General Doyle. ' No, sir, there is the positive proof of your 
receiving such an order.' 

" General Miranda. ' Well, but read on.' 

" General Doyle. ' No, sir. This (pointing to the paper) is 
the positive proof of your receiving such an order, which we 
wanted to establish, because you positively denied it.' 


" Upon this general Caro, shrugging up his shoulders, said, 
* he was not aware of there being any such order/ And general 
Miranda again requested general Doyle would read on. 

" General Doyle. ' For what purpose?' 

" General Miranda. ' To prove that I was not to shut myself 
up with the division in the plaza de Taragona.' 

" General Doyle. ' There is no occasion, sir, for any proof of 
that, for it was a part of the very stipulation made by captain 
Codrington when he strongly pledged himself to general O'Don- 

" General Doyle continued, — ' And now, general Caro, that we 
have proved to you that general Miranda had orders to land in 
Taragona, and that captain Codrington is bound by no such pro- 
mise as you had imagined, I must inform you that he has been eight 
days upon the coast with all the ships of war and transports which 
are wanted for other services, for the sole purpose of embarking these 
troops ; and he desires me to add that in consideration of what is 
due to the liberal and exemplary assistance afforded by general 
O'Donnel and Valencia in aid of Taragona, but not at all on 
account of any pledge he has been said to have given, that he will 
use the same exertion in re-embarking and restoring the troops 
which he would have done if so bound by his word of honour.' " 

Mr. Wellesley to lord Wellesley. 

" July 28. 

" The morning of 30th of June, a few hours after the arrival 
of the British squadron and Spanish vessels in the roadstead of 
Villa Nueva, five thousand French infantry and five hundred 
cavalry surprised the place by a night-march, and seized all the 
property of Taragona, which had been sent there before the siege. 
Twenty -five thousand dollars for each of the next three months 
was demanded, but no violence or plunder allowed. Eroles nar- 
rowly escaped. Lacy, appointed to command in Catalonia, arrived 
1st July at Villa Nueva, the 6th went to Igualada to join Campo 

" Desertion in the army at Mataro has been carried to a most 
alarming extent since the fall of Taragona ; the first night fifteen 
hundred men disappeared, nearly three hundred cavalry had 
likewise set off towards Aragon ; and these desertions are to be 
attributed to the gross neglect and want of activity on the part of 

the officers." " The only division that keeps together in any 

tolerable order is that of general Sarsfield, of about two thousand 


men." «* He had however disputes with Eroles, and the people 

called for the latter to lead them." 

No. III. 




From the councillor of state, Mariano Luis Orquijo, to 
king Joseph. 

" Madrid, 22 Juillet, 1810. 
" Sire, — Le commissaire royal de Cordoue me mande, que le 
due de Dalmatie lui a fait ecrire officiellement de ne remettre 
aucune somme d'argent a la capitale lors meme que le ministre des 
finances le demanderait, jusqu'a ce que les depenses de l'armee 
des regimens qu'on leve et des employes de la province, &c, 
furent pleinement couverts, et que le due prendrait les mesures 
convenables, dans le cas que cette determination ne fut pas 

" Madrid, 3 Agosto de 1810. 

" Le general Sebastiani a fait voir au commissaire royale a 

Grenade, un ordre du due de Dalmatie, qui lui enjoint de la 

maniere la plus expresse, de le mettre en etat d'arrestation si pour le 

I er Aout lui et le prefet de Malaga ne mettent au pouvoir de Sebas- 
tiani quatre millions de reaux. L'exorbitance de cette somme, 
pour une province qui a deja paye son contingent, et le court 
terme de huit jours designe pour le payement, donnent a croire 
que cette somme une fois livree on en demandera une plus forte. 
Selon toutes les apparences, et d'apres les conversations particulieres, 
il s'agit de profiter de l'absence du roi pour mettre les Andalousies 
sur le meme pied que les provinces de Biscaye, Burgos, &c. 

II se peut neanmoins qu'on ait voulu inspirer ces craintes dans des 
idees tout-a-fait differentes. Quoiqu'il en soit il serait scanda- 


leux de voir un commissaire qui represents la personne du roi 
arrete dans une de ses provinces." 

From Mariano Luis Orquijo to king Joseph. 

" Madrid, 7 Aout, 1810. 
" Monsieur d'Aranza m'ecrit en date du 22 Aout dans une 
lettre particuliere les paroles suivantes, en les soulignant pour 
mieux fixer 1'attention: * he marechal Soult est tres content, 
mais il ne fera usage de son autorite que pour le bien : il 
aime le roi et la nation: ce pays lui plait beaucoup.' " 

Ditto to ditto. 

" Madrid, 13 Aout, 1810. 
" Parmiles lettres que m'a porte le courrier d'Andalousie arrive 
hier, j'en remarque une de monsieur Aranza ecrite dans un stile 
etudie et que je soupconne redigee d'accord avec le due de Dal- 
matie. C'est un panegyrique a la louange de ce marechal dans 
lequel monsieur d'Aranza porte aux nues l'intelligence et la zele du 
due de Dalmatie dans la partie administrative ; la consideration 
qu'il donne aux autorites espagnoles; son extreme ad r esse a 
manier les esprits, et l'habilite de ses dispositions militaires, dans 
un pays couvcrt d'insurges. M. d'Aranza termine en form ant le 
voeu que le marechal ne soit aucunement trouble dans Texecution 
de ses plans, et que le sort de l'Andalousie soit mis entierement a 
sa discretion." 

Ditto to ditto. 

" Madrid, le 23 Aout, 1810. 
" Par ma correspondance avec l'Andalousie j'ai appris ; de 
Cordone : que M. Angulo a recu les lettres qui l'appellent a. 
Madrid, et qu'il se dispose a suivre le grand convoi sorti de 
Seville le 1 1 du courant. De Seville : qu'un corsaire Francaise 
s'etant empare d'un paquebot qui allait de Cadiz a Alicante, on y 
avait trouve entr'autres depeches une lettre de Campmany, 
grand partisan des Ang-lais, et un des Coryphees de la revolution. 
II avouait a son ami, don Anselmo Rodriguez de Ribas, inten- 
dant de l'armee du centre, qui s'etait plaint a lui des exces que 
commettaient certaines juntes, que Cadiz n'offrait pas un spectacle 
moins digne de pitie : que les Anglais qu'il avait appris a connaitre 
s'arrogaient peu a peu toute l'autorite : que le commerce libre 
accorde aux ports d'Amerique excitait a Cadiz un mecontentement 
general, et que Venegas allait au Mexique en qualitc de viceroi : 

VOL. IV. 2 L 


il parle en outre de l'arrestation de plusieurs personnes connues, 
et de la de consideration dans laquelle est tombee la regence." 

Ditto to ditto. 

" Madrid, 27 Septembre, 1810. 
" Le marechal Victor permet le passage a. beaucoup de femmes 
qui veulent se reunir a. leurs maris, les femmes en contant les choses 
telles qu'elles sont, detrnisent bien des erreurs dans lesquelles on a 
generalement ete entraine par le gouvernement actuel. L'ennemi 
permit ces jours derniers l'entree dans l'ile a plusieurs femmes qui 
voulaient passer par Chiclanes pour se reunir a leurs parents, mais 
dernierement elles furent contenus a coups de canon, et un 
boulet emporta la tete de celui qui les accompagnait. Le gouverne- 
ment Anglais preside a toutes les operations, etcrainte cette espece 
des communications." 

" Valladolid, le 11 Aout, 1810. 

" Sire, — Je suis arrive a Valladolid, ou je n'ai pas trouve le 
general Kellermann. II parait que les Espagnols ont cerne un 
detachement de Francais qui se trouve a la Puebla de Sanabria, et 
que ce general y eu alle pour le debloquer. Les guerrilles ont ete 
hier aux portes de Valladolid, et il y a cinq a six jours que 
soixante dix Francais ont ete detruits a. Villalon ; la terreur s'est 
emparee de tous les esprits, et Ton croit que trois cent hommes 
ne suffisent pas pour faire paner un courrier : malgre cela, je 
parterai demain, escorte par deux cent hommes avec un convoi 
de prisonniers de Ciudad Rodrigo, done le nombre n'est pas 
considerable, parcequ'ici on leur accorde la liberte moyennant 
une somme qu'on regie avec le general Kellermann pour les frais 
de la guerre. 

" Toutes les autorites du pays sont venues me visiter, et me 
consulter sur la conduite qu'elles doivent tenir depuis les derniers 
ordres du general Kellermann pour qu'elles n'obeinent ni ne cor- 
respondent avec d'autre autorite que la sienne. C'est la chan- 
cellerie qui se trouve plus embarrassee que toute autre, parce- 
qu'elle ne peut concilier l'administrat de la justice au nom de 
votre majeste avec 1'impossibilite de correspondre avec son mi- 

" Je n'ai pas recu le moindre egard du general Dufrene qui 
est a la place du general Kellermann. II ne m'a pas visite, ni 
meme accorde un factionnaire ; tout le monde s'en est apperyu, et 
cette conduite a confirme 1'opinion que Ton a concue que votre 


majeste ne regne point dans ce pays. J'ai tache de detruire une 
idee qui decourage les veritables sujets de votre majeste, et soutient 
les esperances de ses ennemis. Les generaux ne s'appercoivent 
pas du mal qu'ils produisent en ferant croire que le service de 
l'empereur, et ses interets peuvent etre en contradiction avec 
ceux de votre majeste. 

" Si le general Dufrene s'etait borne a ne rien faire pour 
faciliter mon voyage, j'aurai moins de motifs de plainte contre lui, 
mais il a retenu l'escorte de cavalerie que le general Tilly m'avait 
donnee. De toutes les manieres, Sire, je ferai tout ce qui sera 
en mon pouvoir pour accelerer mon voyage, et repondre a la 
confiance avec laquelle votre majeste a daigne me distinguer. 

" Le marquis Almenara." 

Orquijo to Joseph, relating his conference with the French 


" Madrid, Aout 22, 1810. 
" Je lui dis de s'adresser sur ces deux points au ministre des 
relations exterieures, il me repondit qu'un desagrement qu'on 
eprouvait avec lui etait l'obligation de lui donner a tout bout de 
champ des notes ec rites, qu'a Vittoria il l'avait compromis en 
presentant a votre majeste ces notes comme officielles, que le bon 
vieux due (ce sont ses propres expressions) etourdissait dans 
l'instant, qu'il n'entendait point, ou ne voulait point entendre ce 
qu'on lui disait, et qu'il demandait qu'on lui donnat par ecrit ce 
qui n'etait pas necessaire d'ecrire. Je lui repetais toujours qu'il 
devait s'adresser au due puisque e'etait le seul canal par lequel 
il devait dinger ses demandes, que je ne me melais point de ces 
affaires, et que je n'en entretiendrais votre majeste a moins que 
votre majeste ne m'en parlat la premiere, mais comme simple 
particulier je l'assurai de l'inviolabilite des promesses de votre 
majeste et de ses idees liberates. L'ambassadeur ajouta que dans 
la matinee du jour de St. Napoleon, et les jours suivants, le general 
Belliard, Borelli, et leurs alentours avaient parle fort mal des ex- 
pressions de votre majeste sur ses premiers devoirs, et qu'il ne 
doutait pas qu'ils n'en eussent ecrit a Paris ; qu'il n'avait pas pu 
se dispenser de transmettre a sa cour ces paroles ; mais qu'il les 
avait presentes comme une consequence du premier discours tenu 
par votre majeste et une nuance necessaire pour adoucir le mauvais 
effet qu'avait produit ici l'article du Moniteur sur les mots de 
Eempereur au due de Berg. Je le lui avais presente de cette 





maniere en sortant de l'appartement de votre majeste, et je lui 
montrai en meme temps un rapport venu de la Navarre dans 
lequel on depeignait le facheux etat de ce royaume en proie aux 
exces des bandes de brigands et aux dilapidations des gouvernemens 
militaires. Si l'ambassadeur a ecrit dans ces termes comme il me 
Pa dit, autant par honneur que par attachement a votre majeste, a 
son pays et au notre, il a bien rempli ses devoirs. Quoiqu'il en 
soit, je me lui cru oblige de donner connaissance a votre majeste 
de ces faits ainsi que de la surprise que, selon l'ambassadeur, a 
cause a. l'empereur et au ministere Franeais le silence du due de 
Santa Fe qui ne s'explique sur rien. L'ambassadeur se plaint 
d'avoir ete compromis par lui, car a sa demande et en consequence 
des conversations frequentes qu'il eut avec lui pendant les trois 
jours qu'il passa a Madrid, il ecrivit a sa cour que le due de 
Santa Fe etait charge de negocier sur la situation de votre majeste 
et celle de notre pays, que l'ambassadeur lui-meme disait ne 
pouvoir pas durer. C'est a la lettre ce que e'est dit entre l'am- 
bassadeur et moi." &c. &c. 

Ditto to ditto. 

" Madrid, le 13 Novembre, 1810. 
" Monsieur Pereyra a recu du marechal Soult une reponse 
extremement aigre. Ce commissaire royal persiste dans son 
opinion que les mesures indiquees par le due de Dalmatie pour 
l'approvisionnement de l'armee ne rempliront pas le but qu'il se 
propose; mais le marechal veut etre obei. D'un autre cote le 
general Sebastiani l'a contraint a lui donner onze cent millereaux. 
Place entre ces deux ecueils, Monsieur Pereyra a perdu courage 
et demande a votre majeste de le rappeller a Madrid. Le general 
Dufour a pris le commandement de Grenade. 

" Mariano Luis de Ouquijo." 

Ditto to ditto. 

" Madrid, 19 de Decembre, 1810. 
" Monsieur le comte de Montarco etait le 1 1 courant a. Man- 
zanares, il m'ecrit que les habitans de la Manche se plaignent de 
ce que les troupes qui retrouvent dans la province ne les protegent 
pas autant que leur nombre le leur permet, que les brigands 
viennent leur enlever leurs grains pour les transporter dans les 
royaumes de Valence et de Murcie, ou dans rEstremadoure. lis 
craignent une disette et desirent ardemmement qu'il se forme de 
grands depots de grains dans des places a l'abri des incursions des 


partis d'insurges. Les commandants des troupes Francaises sont 
d'une exigence et d'une hauteur insupportables, et les rapports 
faits au comte de Montarco par toutes les autorites legales du 
pays confirment complettement ceux que l'intendant de la Manche 
necesse de faire aux divers ministeres depuis plusieurs mois." 

" Madrid, le 15 Fevrier, 1811. 

" Sire, — Le prefet de Santander me remet, en date du 16 Jan- 
vier, copie des offices qu'il a recus pour la reunion de cette province 
au gouvernement militaire de Biscaye. J'ai l'honneur de les 
mettre sous les yeux de votre majeste en lui observant que cette 
mesure a ete prise sur la proposition du general Caffarelli. 

" On a demande au prefet de Santander un etat des employes 
civils et militaires, des moines, du clerge, et des appointemens 
dont ils jouissent. II croit en consequence que des attributions 
ainsi que celles des employes seront nulles des que la province 
sera gouvernee a l'instar de celle de Biscaye. II ajoute que lui 
et les chefs principaux de l'administration sont decides a ne 
travailler que sous les ordres de votre majeste et demandent avec 
instance que votre majeste ne les abandonne pas. 

" Le sous -prefet de Logrogne me dit en date du 22 Janvier 
que l'opinion publique s'est amelioree depuis qu'on y a appris les 
nouvelles du Portugal, et qu'on y connait le peu de moyens de 
defense qu'offre Valence dans le desordre extreme qui y regne. 
La Riofa ne renferme plus de bandes complettes d'insurges, mais 
on y trouve encore quelques brigands £pars et des voleurs de 
grands chemins. 

" Mariano Luis de Orquijo." 

section 2. 

(Relating to Joseph's abdication.) 
Vindication of the King. 

Le ministre secretaire d'etat a monsieur le due de Santa Fe, 
et en son absence a monsieur le marquis d'Almenara. 

Palais de Madrid, le 12 Septembre, 1810, Pars. 

Excellence, — Le courrier de cabinet, Don Martin Estenoz, 

qui partit de Paris le 22 Juillet, a remis les lettres ecrites 

par V. E. le meme jour et les copies de celles que vous envoyates le 

19 Juin par le courrier Alvarez, qui furent interceptees. Le roi 



les a lues avec la plus grande attention, et apres s'etre bien penetre 
des communications faites a. V. E. au nom de l'empereur, par 
monsieur le due de Cadore, et les observations particulieres de ce 
ministre, S. M. desirant detruire d'un seul trait, les craintes et la 
defiance que des personnes, tout au moins mal instruites, se sont 
efforcees d'inspirer, m'a ordonne d'entrer en explication sur tous les 
points dont elles traitent. Mais je dois avant tout faire connaitre 
a V. E. que le roi s'est montre satisfait de la juste interpretation 
donnee a ses idees, et a ses sentimens dans la reponse que V. E. 
afaite au due de Cadore, relativement a la protection dont S. M. I. 
desire que le commerce Francais jouisse dans les reglemens des 
douanes, en offrant d'assurer une faveur reciproque dans ses etats 
aux productions d'Espagne. L'empereur ne peut ignorer les vues 
liberales de son auguste frere, et si S. M. I. a ete exactement in- 
forniee sur ce point, elle saura que, des son avenement au trone, 
le roi a ecarte bien des obstacles opposes a l'industrie francaise 
qu'il s'agit de favoriser encore par de nouvelles dispositions. 

II est bien douloureux pour le roi d'avoir a se justifier de plusieurs 
imputations auxquelles on a dii croire puisqu'on les a commu- 
niquees a V. E. L'une d'elles est que le roi a rendu a leurs pro- 
prietaires, ou dispose a son gre, d'une partie des biens confisques 
par rempereur. Cela supposerait de la partde S. M. un oubli de la 
parole donnee a l'empereur de ne se meler en aucune maniere de 
ces confiscations : mais e'est un infame imposture, et son auteur 
merite un chatiment exemplaire. Qu'on cite une propriete un 
pouce de terrain confisque par l'em])ereur, et dont on ait dispose : 
on ne le pourra point si dans une pure question de fait on en 
impose ainsi a l'empereur, que sera ce lorsqu'on ne parle que par 
conjectures et presomption ? Le roi porte a un si haut degre son 
respect pour les decretsde confiscations de S. M. I. qu'ayantbesoin 
d'un des edifices qui y sontcompris pour y placer des etablissemens 
publics, il n'a raeme pas voulu s'en servir provisoirement. S. M. 
n'a-t-elle pas, en consequence, le droit de reclaimer, pour son hon- 
neur, la punition de ses detracteurs? S. M, I. s'est expliquee sur 
la direction donnee a la guerre et la maniere dont elle a ete faite. 

L'empereur ecrivit au roi pour lui representer la lenteur des 
operations, et l'inaction des armees. Aussitot S. M. entreprit 
la conquete de l'Andalousie. Le due de Cadore a dit a V. E. que 
la soumission de cette province etait illusoire, puisqu'elle se trouve 
inondee de partis d'insurges et de bandes de brigands. Qu'on 
considere la vaste etendue de 1'Andalusie ; le petit nombre de 
troupes francaises que 1'obstination de Cadiz permet d'y repandre : 


m pieges de toute espece que tendent les Anglais et leurs con- 
tinuelles attaques : qu'on parcoure l'histoire de toutes les guerres 
contre 1'Angleterre et Ton verra qu'independamment des vingt 
mille Espagnols constamment stationes a St, Rocq, il etait encore 
necessaire d'entretenir sur cette cote un nombre considerable de 
troupes pour les opposer aux entrep rises partielles de l'ennemi. 
Si ces precautions etaient indispensables dans un tems de calme 
et de tranquillite, qu'elles doivent etre les esperances et les moyens 
de 1'Angleterre dans l'agitation actuelle de l'Espagne et la nature 
de la guerre dont elle est le theatre ? Le roi peut dire avec verite 
que la conquete militaire et morale de l'Andalousie est son ouvrage, 
et que ses paroles, sa conduite, et les sages mesures qu'il a prises, 
ont prepare la tranquillite dont elle jouit. S. M. y a organise des 
gardes civiques chargees de defendre leurs foyers, et malgre le 
voisinage de cette province avec TEstremadure et les instigations 
continuelles de la junte de Cadiz et des Anglais, l'Andalousie 
renferme beaucoups moins de partis ou de bandes d'insurges que 
la Castille, la Biscaye, et la Navarre, qui ont ete places sous le 
regime militaire. Enfm Ton trouve en Andalousie une organisation 
complette de compagnies de Miguelettes, qui veillent a la tran- 
quillite des villes et a la surete des chemins. Leurs services sont 
tellement utiles que le marechal due de Dalmatie a donne le plus 
de developpement possible a cette institution. 

Si l'Andalousie n'estpas entierement pacifiee, si la junte de Cadiz 
existe encore, et si les Anglais y exercent leur fatale influence, 
on doit l'attribuer en grande partie aux machinations et aux traines 
ourdies par la junte et 1'Angleterre au moment ou parvint a leur 
connaissance le decret du 8 Fevrier qui etablit des gouvernemens 
militaires dans la Navarre, la Biscaye, l'Aragon, et la Catalogne. 
Quelques gouverneurs francais ayant traite ces provinces comme si 
elles etaient absolument detachees de la monarchic, les membres de 
la junte de Cadiz et les Anglais en profiterent pour soufflerde nou- 
veau le feu de la discorde et refuter les expressions du roi qui 
repetait sans cesse, ■ Que la nation conserverait son integrite et 
son independance : que ses institutions s'amelioreraient sous la 
protection d'un trone soutenu par les relations intimes du roi avec 
l'empereur ; qu'elle n'aurait a combattre que l'ennemi qui voulait 
s'arroger l'empiie exclusif des mers.' Voila le sens qu'on a tou- 
jours donne en Espagne aux mots independance et integrite. Ce 
langage est celui dont s'est servi S. M. I. non seulement avec les 
Espagnols, mais a la face de l'univers : il ne peut done etre 
odieux ni criminel dans la bouche du roi. Mais combien n'est-il 


pas dementi par la conduite de certains gouverneurs qui paraissent 
s'obstiner a prolonger l'insurrection d'Espagne a l'annihiler ou 
la detruire plutot qu'a la soumettre ! car dans plusieurs endroits 
on ne se contente pas d'exclure toute idee de l'autorite du roi en 
faisant administrer la justice au nom de l'empereur, mais ce qui 
est pire, on a exige que les tribunaux civils de Valladolid et de 
Valencia pretassent serment de fid elite et d'obeissance a S. M. I. 
comme si la nation Espagnole n'avait pas de roi. 

Monsieur le due de Cadore se plaint de l'indulgence dont on en a 
use en Andalousie ; S. M. a montre contre ses ennemis, dans les 
champs de Talavera et Ocana, toute la fermete de son caractcre ; 
mais serait-il juste, conviendrait-il a ses interets et aux vues de 
1'empereur, que S. M. deployat de la rigueur contre des vaincus, 
des prisonniers qui doivent etre ses sujets ? Si le marechal Ney 
eut suivi ce genereux exemple dans les villes de Galice ou il fut 
vecu a bras ouverts, et n'eut pas au contraire opprime et saccage 
cette province, elle serait heureuse et soumise, et non livree aux 
maux de l'insurrection comme tant d'autres a qui Ton a fait 
eprouver le meme sort, Cette conduite de S. M. dans des pays 
soumis est vraisemblablement ce que le due de Cadore appelle des 
graces accordees aux insurges de preference aux personnes at- 
tachees a la cause du roi. Les insurges n'ont obtenu d'autres 
graces que elles qui leur furent offertes dans les proclamations 
pour dissiper l'erreur dans laquelle les Anglais les avaient induits. 
Si le sequestre mis sur les biens invendus de quelques habitans ou 
refugies, a etc leve posterieurement, cet exemple d'indulgence a 
eu d'heureux resultats, puisqu'il a attire un grand nombre de 
personnes a l'obeissance du roi : et qu'on ne croye pas que ces 
individus n'aient point subi le chatiment qui leur etait du pour 
le retard qu'ils ont mis a se soumettre, car s'ils possedaient 
des billets royaux, il les ont perdues pour ne les avoir pas 
presente a terns au timbre sec ; et s'ils sont porteurs d'autres 
titres de creances sur l'etat, ils doivent, pour les valider, 
solliciter un decret particulier. 

Les avantages de la formation des corps Espagnols sont a la portee 
de tout le monde : leur presence a influe plus qu'on ne pense sur 
Theureuse issue de la bataille d'Ocana et de l'expedition d'Anda- 
lousie. En y admcttant un grand nombre d'officiers, on est parvenu 
a eloigner de Tinsurrection des hommes inquiets qui seraient devenus 
chefs de brigands, et tout en avouant que la desertion a eu lieu parmi 
les soldats, etqu'il en e^t resuite quelques maux, on peut hardiment 
ahrrmer que la somme des biens est infiniment plus giande, et qu'il 


n'y a pas de moyens qu'on ne doive employer pour faire revenir de 
son egarement une nation de douze millions d'ames qu'il n'est pas 
facile d'assujettir par la force des bayonnettes, et dont on veut 
"d'ailleurs faire une amie et une alliee. 

On a parle du mauvais emploi des ressources de 1'Espagne, et du 
denuement dans lequel ont etelaissees les troupes francaises. Les 
soldats ont eu en Espagne des vivres en abondance : les hopitaux 
francais ont He les mieux pourvus, il a fallu pour cela exiger des 
contributions extraordinaires et des emp runts forces, et vaincre le 
grand obstacle de l'interceptation des communications de province a 
province, et souvent de ville a ville. L'Espagne se trouve divise en 
gouvernemens militaires de sorte que S. M. est a peine maitre de 
la capitale et de sa banlieue : n'est ce done point par une espece de 
miracle qu'elle y fait subsister des troupes, et qu'elle y soutient des 
hopitaux. Les gouverneurs francais imposent, il est vrai, des con- 
tributions extraordinaires sur leurs provinces, mais ils les vexent 
et les ruinent, et certes ce n'est pas la le moyen de les maintenir 
dans l'obeissance, ni un exemple bien attrayant pour les provinces 
soulevees: cette ressource est d'ailleurs precaire et insuffisante 
comme le prouvera bientot l'cxperience. S. M. se flatte de ce 
que les intentions de l'empereur en faveur de la nation seraient 
mieux remplies et ses troupes mieux dirigees, si toutes celles qui 
sont en Espagne etaient sous ses ordres, et si les propositions qu'il 
a faites a son auguste frere etaient acceptees. Le due de Cadore 
a evalue a plusieurs millions les confiscations de marchandises 
anglaises, et l'enlevement de l'argenterie des eglises et des cou- 
vents qu'on aurait du faire en Andalousie. Les confiscations 
eurent lieu par ordre des generaux francais a leur entree dans 
chaque ville, et si leur valeur fut exageree, dans le principe, pour 
donner plus d'eclat aux entreprises militaires, on reconnut des 
qu'on en vint a l'examen l'erreur dans laquelle on etait tombe; et 
dans le fait comment ne pas appercevoir qu'apres la bataille 
d'Ocaiia l'invasion d' Andalousie devant etre prevue, chacun avait 
grand soin de faire refluer les marchandises confiscables sur les 
points les plus capables de resistance, afin de les mettre hors de la 
portee du vainqueur. L'argenterie d'eglise a beaucoup d'apparence 
et fort peu de valeur. On a pris dans les couvents, ou il en 
restait ties peu, ainsi que dans les eglises toute celle qui n'a pas 
6te jugee necessaire pour la decence du culte, et comme le roi ne 
voulait ni ravager ni detruire, mais bien pacifier et conserver, il a 
du regler sa conduite sur ce principe. 

Monsieur le due de Cadore parle de depenses, e'est vraiment 


une fatalite qu'il soit si mal informe de faits g6neralement connus. 
Le tresor public est ouvert a quiconque voudra s'assurer de la 
verite. On y verra que S. M. a recu a peine chaque mois le 
cinquieme de l'assig-nation de la liste civile : qu'il a du se reduire 
a la plus stricte economie, et que non seulement il s'est vu faute 
de pouvoir donner aux acteurs une legere avance, dans l'obligation 
de supprimer le theatre Italien qui etait son unique delassement, 
mais encore de vendre sa vaisselle platte, et de se defaire des 
choses les plus necessaires a rornement de sa cour. Aussi dansle 
repas que S. M. donna, a l'occasion de la fete de l'empereur, a 
ses ministres, aux grands officiers de la couronne, et a l'ambassa- 
deur de France, la table fut elle servie en fayence semblable a 
celle qu' avait S. M. au camp de Boulogne. Certainement l'em- 
barras et la confusion que cette excessive simplicite causait au 
roi n'aura pas echappe a l'ambassadeur. Au milieu de tant de 
privations, et dans une situation aussi contraire a sa dignite 
S. M. a la douleur de voir que ses ministres, le conseil d'etat, les 
tribunaux de la capitale, et les employes civils, qui sont en petit 
nombre, ne percoivent pas leur traitement depuis plus de sept mois. 
Ce sont la les faveurs que S. M. a dispenses avec tant de pro- 
digalite. Le roi a donne, il est vrai,quelques cedules aux officiers 
de sa maison, et a quelques individus attaches a sa personne, pour 
les aider a acheter des biens nationaux : on donne a ces bienfaits 
le nom de prodigalite, et d'un autre cote 1'on se plaint de l'aban- 
don dans lequel S. M. laisse d'autres individus, ce qui serait incom- 
patible avec la facon de penser du roi et la connaissances de ses 
devoirs comme homme et comme monarque. C'est l'unique chose 
dont le roi puisse disposer dans la situation ou il se trouve et outre 
le but politique de ces donations, S. M. a cru que e'etait le seul 
moyen d'assurer a ces individus une mediocre existence, et encore 
sa prevoyance a cet egard a-t-elle ete trompee, car les revenues 
des terres et des biens qui se trouvent dans les personnes soumises 
au gouvernement militaire dont les limites s'etendent jusqu'aux 
portes de Madrid, ou ne se payent pas, tant est grande la misere des 
fermiers, ou les biens ne s'affermentpas de crainte d'extorsions de la 
part des gouverneurs, ou, enfin, les revenus se trouvent absorbes par 
les contributions extraordinaires. Les faits sont evidens, ils parlent 
d'eux-memes, et toute personne impartiale peut en faire l'examen. 
Mais il faut qu'elle soit de meilleure foi que celle qui a voulu 
imputer a S. M. l'alienation des biens confisques par 1'em- 
pereur, et les g-riefs auxquels on vient de repondre. S. M. 
pourrait, a bien plus juste titre, se plaindre de la conduite 


des gouverneurs Francais : de celle du general Dufour, par 
exemple, qui a exige des dix membres dont il composa a sa 
maniere ce conseil de Navarre qu'on s'est vu bientot oblige de 
dissoudre, qu'ils redigeassent une adresse a l'empereur dans 
laqueile ils demandaient a S. M. I. un code des lois, et se 
mettaient a sa discretion. Trois de ces membres refuserent de 
signer, les autres cederent a la violence. S. M. pourrait citer 
encore une foule d'actes qui ont exaspere les esprits, fourni des 
armes a. lmsurrection, et donne aux Anglais des pretextes pour 
supposer des projets qui n'existent pas, et rendre la guerre 
interminable. Qu'on compte le nombre des bandes de brigands 
et d'insurges en Espagne, et Ton verra combien il s'est accru 
depuis l'institution des gouvernemens militaires. S. M. ne 
peut elle se plaindre avec autant de justice de la situation equi- 
voque dans laqueile elle se trouve ? qu'on en juge par le fait 
suivant. Le nouveau ministre de finances venait d'entrer en 
fonction, et il s'agissait deja de reunirles plus forts capitalistes de la 
place pour les engager a avancer une bonne somme d'argent, 
lorsque le payeur de Tarmee, monsieur Croucbart, et l'intendant- 
general, monsieur Denniers, assurerent au ministre que des employes 
venaient de Paris avec des lettres cachetees qu'ils avaient l'ordre 
de n'ouvrir qua Madrid. On pretendit aussitot qu'ils devaient 
se charger de l'administration civile, que les rentrees seraient 
invariablement affectees a Pentretien et a la solde de l'armee, et 
le surplus seulement, a la liste civile. C'etait annoncer la disso- 
lution de l'etat. Des bruits de cette nature repandus dans toute 
la ville par les employes francais parvenus a la connaissance de 
l'ambassadeur de S. M. I. et appuyes par des malveillans qui 
abondent toujours dans les capitales surtout a. la suite des guerres 
d'opinions, ne pouvait produire que de malheureux effets. La 
confiance de ce petit nombre d'hommes qui aurait pu faire des 
avances s'eteignit a l'instant, et toutes les portes furent fermees. 
S. M. ignorait l'arrivee des nouveaux employes du tresor de 
France, et il n'a connu comme le dernier de ses sujets, le contenu 
des lettres dont ils etaient porteurs qu'a leurs ouvertures. 

Dans cet etat de choses il est facile de se faire I'idee de la confiance 
que peut inspirer le roi, et lorsque S. M. se trouve hors d'etat de 
faire le bonbeur du pays qu'il doit gouverner et de concourir a la 
realisation des vues de son auguste frere : qu'il voit enfin sa dig- 
nite avilee, doit on s'etonner qu'il ait manifeste l'impossibilite de 
vivre plus long temps dans une situation aussi precaire ? Monsieur 


le due de Cadore tout en reconnaissant les hautes qualites du roi, 
a pretendu, que les personnes qui approchent S. M. lui ont conseille 
et lui conseillent sans cesse de se maintenir dans l'independance 
de la France, et que ce principe se suivait avec trop de rigueur. 
Monsieur le due de Cadore sait que S. M. dans aucune epoque de 
sa longue et glorieuse carriere n'a eu besoin de conseils et ne s'est 
aoumis a aucune influence, surtout s'il s'est agi de detruire ' son 
systeme inalterable d'amiti6 sincere et eternelle avec son auguste 
frere l'empereur ; d'alliance et de bienveillance affectueuse envers 
la nation Espagnole a. la tete de laquelle il est place, et dont il 
s'efforcera de conserver la splendeur et le bien-etre, avec Tindepen- 
dance et l'integrite de territoire. Les vceux les plus constants 
de son coeur sont que les deux nations unies entr'elles par les 
memes liens que leur monarques concourent d'une maniere uni- 
forme a la felicite commune en forcant leur ennemie a. abandonner 
le sceptre des mers.' 

Le prince don Fernando, ajoute le due de Cadore, se preterait 
a coder les provinces qui conviennent a l'empereur et a. toutes les 
conditions qu'il voudrait lui imposer. Le roi ne veut entrer en 
comparaison avec personne ; mais il observera que ce ne fut pas dans 
ces sentimens ni dans cette croyance qu'il accepta la couronne 
d'Espagne en deposant celle de Naples: que l'empereur ni la 
France ne devraient avoir confiances en des offres que la nation 
repousserait, et qui ne pourrait avoir d'ailleurs qu'une execution 
passagere ; car comme le sait ties bien monsieur le due de Cadore, 
les nations humiliees dissimulent leur haine en attendant le mo- 
ment favorable de venger leurs outrages. Une semblable conduite 
serait incompatible avec le facon de penser du roi, avec son noble 
caractere et celui de la nation que S. M. gouverne. Elle est 
diametralement en opposition avec les assurances donnees par 
S. M. I. a la nation Espagnole ' qu'il etait necessaire pour son 
bonheur qu'elle se regenerat sous sa dynastie, et sous le prince 
qu'elle lui donnait egal en tout a son auguste personne.' A cette 
occasion le due de Cadore parle du peu d'avantages que rapporte a 
la France la guerre d'Espagne en proportion des sacrifices im- 
menses qu'elle a faits. Certes le roi ne les ignore pas, et sa 
reconnaissance eclatera quand S. M. se trouvera en etat de les 
recompenser. Dans ce moment cela lui est impossible ; mais 
S. M. 1. pourrait mettre le comble a ses bons offices en s'offrant 
pour garant de l'emprunt ouvert en Hollande sous les memes con- 
ditions que celui de Prusse, ou du moins en lui donnant son 
assentiment comme a celui d'Autriche. S. M. I. se convaincra 


facilement que les liens du sang-, les relations les plus intimes 
et les plus siires d'une etroite amitie entre les deux nations, 
et enfin la position meme de ces armees seront les meilleurs 
garants de l'exactitude des remboursements quelques sacrifices 
qu'ils exigent. 

Quant aux avantages futurs que promettent les sacrifices actuels 
de la France, ce serait faire injure aux lumieres du due de Cadore 
que de la fatiguer en les lui developpant. Lorsque S. M. I. crut 
necessaire l'etablissement en Espagne de sa dynastie, l'expeiience 
lui avait demontre que survenant des troubles dans le nord, il ne 
pouvait jamais compter sans ce changement, sur la surete d'une 
des plus importantes frontieres de son empire. Un siecle d'amitie 
presque non interrompue depuis le regno en Espagne et en 
France de la maison de Bourbon, le pacte de famille et la tournure 
differente que prirent les relations entre les deux pays apres I'ex- 
clusion de la maison d'Autriche, sont les temoignages les plus 
authentiques de l'utilite des efforts et des sacrifices de la France 
pendant six ans, au commencement du siecle dernier. La re- 
sistance opiniatre de presque toute l'Europe et surtout celle de 
I'Angleterre, qu'elle renouvelle dans cette guerre avec un plus 
grand developpement de moyens demontrent l'importance de cet 
evenement pour la France. Ses meilleurs ecrivains politiques ont 
indique avec la plus grande clarte les avantages qui en ont resulte 
pour le commerce Francais et les richesses qu'il a procurees a la 
nation. Que ne doit elle pas attendre aujourd'hui de la reunion 
des deux couronnes dans la meme famille, de l'analogie de leurs 
codes politiques et de leurs institutions, des qualites d'un roi sago 
et eclaire qui aime tendrement son auguste frere et la France, et 
qui est penetre de la necessite d'abattre l'orgueil de I'Angleterre ! 
n'est ce pas le plus grand fruit qu'elle puisse retirer de cette 
resolution et de tels resultats ne valent ils pas les sacrifices mo- 
mentanees qu'elle s'impose ? 

II a ete bien sensible pour S. M. que les rapports mensongers de 
personnes peu interessees a l'union et a l'amitie des deux freres et 
des deux pays, ayant pu inspirer a S. M. I. un seul instant de 
doutes. Quoique le roi a deja ecrit a. l'empereur son auguste 
frere, S. M. veut que V. E. ou en votre absence le marquis d'Al- 
menara, remette une copie de cette lettre a monsieur le due de 
Cadore, dans l'esperance que V. E. developpera a S. M. I. avec 
sa sagacite ordinaire les causes qui ont influe sur la conduite du 
roi dans les affaires d'Espagne, que S. E. lui depeindra l'etat 
veritable de la nation, et qu'elle contribuera de cette maniere a. 


1'execution des intentions des denx monarques qui n'ont ete, et 
qui ne peuvent etre que les memes. 

Le ministre secretaire d'etat, 
(Signe) Mariano Luis D'Orquijo. 

Letters from king Joseph to his ministers. 

10 Fevrier, 1811. 

Je suis peine que l'empereur ait cru necessaire d'employer 
des formes diplomatiques avec raoi et meme avec la reine. Qu'il 
me fasse clairement connoitre sa volonte etje n'aurai rien de plus 
agreable que de m'y conformer puisqu'elle ne peut etre ni com- 
patible avec mon honneur qui me paroit inseparable du sien, 
comme mon interet. Le fait est que je desire complaire, a la fois, 
a l'empereur et a mon frere; il m'a fait reconnoitre roi de Naples, 
roi d'Espagne, et a garanti mon existence politique sans que je 1'aie 
demande. Je n'ai pas sollicite le trone j'y suis monte parcequ'il 
l'a voulu, aujourd'hui l'empereur desire-t-il que je rentrois dans la 
retraite. Je suis d'autant plus pret a le faire que les evenemens 
de trois annees ont leve bien des scrupules et empecher venir bien 
des regrets. 

J'ai dii croire que l'empereur vouloit que je quittasse l'Espagne 
des que j'ai vu graduellement mon existence y devenir humiliant, 
impossible, et qu'il doit savoir que je ne puis pas supporter long- 
temps de me voir degrade : dans ce cas je desire partir pour 
France. L'ordre publique sera assure ici, je m'entendrai avec 
mon frere, ou pour mieux dire je lui porterai moi-meme mon 

Je m'abandonne entierement a sa justice et a ses sentimens 
paternels pour ma famille, aussi point de negociations particu- 
lieres ; je retourne des ce moment a l'empereur tous les droits 
qu'il m'a transmis sur l'Espagne si son ambassadeur juge que je 
puisse partir demain pour Morfontaine, et s'il eu autorise a croire 
que l'empereur verra ce parti sans deplaisir. 

L'empereur veut-il reellement que je reste au trone d'Espagne ? 
Je reste quelques qui soient les desagremens independant de la 
volonte qui m'y attendent. Mais il faut que je n'eprouve que ceux 
qu'il ne peut m'eviter ; je le repete jamais les interets politiques ne 
me diviseront avec lui, qu'il me fasse connoitre sa volonte. Si 
l'empereur venir ici, tout s'arrangera entre nous ; s'il ne vient pas 
en Espagne, qu'il me laisse aller le voir a Paris, S'il juge ce 
voyage inopportun, qu'il rende mon existence tolerable pendant la 
guerre : il sait mieux que personne ce qu'il doit faire pour cela. 


II faut un changement marque dans tout, avancer ou reculer, 
vous connoissez l'etat actuel ; j'ignore comment je pourrai gagner 
le mois necessaire pour connoitre la determination de l'empereur. 

(The following abdication, by Joseph, was drawn up but never made 


L'experience de trois annees nous ayant convaincu que l'ordre 
social ne peut etre recompose en Espagne qu'en cumulant dans 
les memes mains les droits de souverainte dont nous sommes 
investes, et les moyens de force et de puissance militaire dont 
dispose notre august frere l'empereur des Francais, de qui nous 
tenons les droits que nous exercons aujourd'hui sur la monarchie 
Espagnole, nous avons resolu de notre pleine et libre volonte de 
retroceder a notre frere l'empereur des Francais les droits qu'il 
nous a remis et en vertu des quels nous sommes entre dans ce 
royaume en 1808 a. la suite de la constitution que nous avons 
signee a Bayonne dans la meme annee. 

C'est pourquoi par les presents signees de notre main nous 
declarons ceder, transporter, et remettre a notre dit frere l'em- 
pereur des Francais, tous les droits qu'il nous transmis en 1808 
sur la monarchie d'Espagne et des Indes dans toute leur integrite 
et tels qu'il les recut lui meme du roi Charles Quatre. 

Nous entendons que la presente retrocession n'ait de force et 
valeur que ce l'epoque ou nous aurons pleine et entiere connois- 
sance de l'acceptation de la presente retrocession de la part de notre 
frere l'empereur des Francais : et comme nous ne sommes portes 
a. cet acte par aucune consideration particuliere, mais par l'unique 
consideration que nous avons exprimee plus haut et qu'en quittant 
le trone d'Espagne nous n'avons en vue que le plus grand bien du 
peuple Espagnol que nous ne pourrons pas rendre aussi heureux 
que nous voudrions, et que nous n'avons d'autre ambition que 
celle de rentier dans la vie privee et dans la retraite la plus ab- 
solue. Nous nous abandonnons entierement a la justice de notre 
frere l'empereur des Francais pour le sort des personnes qui 
nous sont attachees au sentimens de la gloire qui garantit ses 
efforts pour le bonheur de l'Espagne et a ses sentimens paternels 
pour nos enfans, pour la reine, notre epouse, et pour nous. 

Nous nous engagerons a faire revetir de toutes les formes qui 
pourroient paroitre plus authentiques le present acte ecrit, redige, 
et signe de notre propre main. Ayant juge que le plus grand 
secret etait indispensable jusqu'a ce que nous ayons connoissance 
de l'acceptation de S. M. l'empereur des Francais, roi cl'Italie. 

Fait a Madrid, etc. etc. 



Paris, 1811. 

Depuis la conversation que j'ai eu avec vous sur ma position, 
elle ne s'est pas amelioree ; elle est telle aujourd'hui que je me 
voir force d'embrasser le seul pratique qui me reste a prendre, 
celui de la retraite la plus absolue en France. Je serois deja parti 
si je ne venois d'etre instruit que S. M. l'empereur qui a su que 
j'avois donne ordre d'acheter ou de louer une terre a cent licues 
de Paris, avoit disapprouve cette demarche, et qu'il trouvait plus 
convenable, si je persistois dans ma resolution, qui je me rendisse 
a. ma terre de Morfontaine apres vous avoir prevenu de ma de- 
termination, et avoir assure ici l'ordre publique apres mon depart. 
Je dirai en partant que je vais m'entendre avec l'empereur pour 
les affaires d'Espagne, et je ferois les memes dispositions par 
rapport aux provinces qui entourent Madrid que je fit lorsqu'il y a 
un an je partis pour l'expedition d'Andalousie ; cet etat dura six 
mois sans nul desoidre, et je ne doute pas que les choses n'aillent 
de la meme maniere et ne donnent le terns a l'empereur de prendre 
les dispositions definitives. 

Je suis pret a rendre l'empereur les droits qu'il me remit a. 
Bayonne sur la monarchic d'Espagne et des Indes si ma posi- 
tion ici ne change pas ; parceque je dois croire que c'est le desir 
de l'empereur puisqu'il est impossible qu'il veuille que je reste roi 
d'Espagne, et qu'il m"6te tous les moyens d'existence. II en peut 
etre malheureux que l'empereur ait voulu me reconnoitre roi de 
Naples, il y a six ans lorsqu'a la tete de ses troupes je fis la con- 
quete de ce royaume ; ce fut malgre moi, et mes instances pour 
rester au commandement de son armee avec la simple qualite de 
son lieutenant furent le sujet d'une lettre dont je me rappelle 

Lorsqu'en 1808 je fus proclame roi d'Espagne, je l'ignorois 
encore ; cependant arrive a Bayonne je fis tout ce que voulus 
l'empereur, je signerais une constitution, je le signai appuyee par 
sa garantie. Les evenemens n'ayant pas repondu a nos espe- 
rances est ce ma faute ? Est celui qui en est le plus victim qui 
doit en porterla peine ? Cependant tant que la guerre dure je 
me suis soumis a tout ce que Ton a voulu, mais je ne puis pas 
l'impossible ; je ne puis pas rester ici plus longtems si l'empereur 
ne vient a mon secours. En ordonnant qu'il soit verse dans mon 
tresor a Madrid un million de francs par mois, les autres pio- 
vinces doivent contribuer aux besoins de la capitale. Les troupes 
francoises qui sont dans les provinces du centre (elles sont peu 
nombreuses) doivent etre soldees par le tresor de France. 


A la pacification generate l'empereur exigera des indemnites; 
s'entendrer alors il possede de fait presque toutes les provinces 
aujourd'hui, il sera bien le maitre de ne les evacuer qu'a mesure 
qu'il croira que l'Espag-ne aura satisfait aux obligations qu'il lui 
aura imposees. En resume je suis pret a faire la volonte de 
l'empereur pourvu que je la connoisse. 

1°. Veut-il que je reste roi d'Espagne, je reste des qu'il m'en 
donne la possibility, et je supporte tous les gouvernemens militaires 
qu'il a etablis puisqu'il les croit indispensables pendant la guerre. 

2°. Prefereroit-il que je rentrasse dans la sein de ma famille a 
Morfontaine d'abord et l'hiver dans le midi. Je suis pret a partir 
des que je connoitrai sa volonte. j'ajoute de plus que le parti de 
la retraite me conviendra beaucoup plus que l'autre des que je 
saurai qu'il lui convient. Je suis sur alors qu'il aura quelques 
bontes pour les Francais qui se sont attaches a, mon soit, et que je 
ne serai pas a meme de rendre aussi heureux qu'ils le meritent. 
Quant a moi, a la reine, et a mes enfans, l'empereur me faisant 
payer mon traitement de prince Francais, nous en aurons assez, 
mon intention etant de vivre dans la retraite en m'occupant de 
l'education des mes enfans, laissant a l'empereur le soin de leur 
etablissemens, car je ne doute pas si ce projet se verifie que je ne 
retrouve le cceur de mon frere, et que dans les intervalles ou il se 
rappellera qu'il est homme, il ne trouve encore quelque consolation 
en retrouvant mon cceur pour lui aussi jeune qu'il y a trente ans. 

Enfin j'aime mieux vivre sujet de l'empereur en France que de 
rester en Espagne roi nominal, parceque je serai bon sujet en 
France, et mauvais roi en Espagne, et que je veux rester digne de 
l'empereur, de la France, et de moi-meme. 

Marquis of Almenara to the minister secretary of state. 
Translated from a deciphered Spanish letter. 

Fontainebleau, Novembre 4, 1810. 
" This government is very uneasy about the military operations 
in Portugal, from whence they receive no accounts except through 
England, described therefore factitiously and with the strongest 
hopes of resisting the French forces that oppose their army. This 
problem will probably be already solved and its conclusion will 
decide what is interesting to Spain. It is therefore very important 
that our government should w r rite all it knows, and what will 
prove that it takes part in what belongs to both countries, because 
here I am often asked what is said in Madrid on this subject, and 
people are surprised that we limit ourselves entirely to the urgent 
VOL. IV. 2 M 


points of our negotiation. This explains the proofs of affection 
which the prince royal of Sweden desired that the king should 
give to the emperor, being convinced that the letters of his 
majesty, written in his own familiar style when he explains his 
sentiments, produce a great sensation with the emperor." 

section 3. 

Letters from the prince de Neufchatel to king Joseph. 

Paris, 28 Janvier, 1811. 
Sire, — J'ai l'honneur de prevenir votre majeste que l'empereur 
par sa decision du 21 Janvier a fixe les traitemens extraordinaires 
qui pourront etre payes en Espagne a date du l er de l'annee 1811, 
dans l'arrondissement des armees du midi, du nord, de 1'Arragon, 
&c. Ces traitemens sont determines ainsi qu'il suit. 

Savoir : 

Fr. par mois. 

Les generaux gouverneurs dans les quatre gouvernemens 

comprises dans l'arrondissement de l'armee du nord • • 4000 

Le general chef de letat major general de l'armee 3000 

Generaux de division 1800 

Generaux de brigade, inspecteurs aux revues et commis- 

saires ordonnateurs 1200 

Adjudans commandans, colonels, et sous-inspecteurs aux 

revues 750 

Officiers de sante principaux 500 

Chefs de bataillons, d'escadrons, commissaires de guerre, 

et chefs d'administration des differens services 400 

Commandans de place occupant dans -\ capitaines • • • • 400 
l'armee un grade inferieur a ceux ci- > lieutenans et { 

dessus designees, savoir 3 sous-lieuts. S 

Au moyen de ces indemnites il ne sera rien alloue au-dessus des 
sommes fixees ni pour depenses de bureaux ou de table, ni pour 
frais extraordinaires de quelque nature qu'ils soient et sous quelque 
pretexte que ce puisse etre, et cette decision n'a aucun effet re- 
troactif. Jecris a MM. les marechaux et generaux commandant 
en Espagne, pour leur faire connoitre que, d'apres les intentions 
de l'empereur, tout militaire Francais qui a l'avenir aurait exige 
ou recu des traitemens extraordinaires plus forts que ceux fixes 
par la decision du 21 Janvier, et qui s'en serait fait payer sans une 
ordonnance reguliere des intendans generaux ou commissaires or- 
donnateurs, sera suspendu de ses fonctions et qu'il en sera rendu 


compte dans les vingt-quatre heures pour prendre les ordres de 
l'empereur. Votre majeste jugera sans doute convenable de 
donner ses ordres au general Belliard pour que cette disposition 
soit suivie dans l'arrondissement de larmee du centre. Je prie 
votre majeste d'agreer 1 hommage de mon respect. 

Paris, 14 Fcvrier, 1811. 
Sire, — L'empereur ne m'a encore donne aucun ordre relatif a 
l'objet de la lettre apporlee par votre^ aide-de-camp le colonel Cler- 
mont Tonnere. On pense que Valence ne se soumettra que par 
l'approche d'une armee, et apres la prise de Tarragone le corps du 
general Suchet sera disponible. — Les affaires paroissent s'ameliorer 
en Portugal, le due d'Istrie va etablir l'ordre dans le nord de 
l'Espagne. J'envoye mon aide-de-camp le colonel Le Jeune voir 
l'etat des choses a. Grenade, Malaga, Cadiz et Badajos. Je prie 
votre majeste d 'avoir des bontes pour lui. L'empereur est en 
bonne sante, rimperatrice est bientot a terme, et nous esperons 
un roi des Romains. L'empereur affermit de plus en plus 
le grand empire. Votre majeste le seconde mais nous appre- 
cions ses peines et ses privations. Une nouvelle armee de deux- 
cent-milles hommes se forme dans le nord de la France, et l'em- 
pereur est en position d'en imposer a. qui tenteroit de contrarier 
ses grandes conceptions, tout est bien et va bien en France. 

Paris, le 11 Avril, 1811. 

Sire, — J'ai eu l'honneur de mander votre majeste, que l'em- 
pereur avoit donne des ordres -pour qu'il lui fut envoye chaque 
mois cent mille francs, et je lui ai fait connoitre combien il etoit 
important que les troupes destinees pour I'Andalusie y arrivassent 
sans retard. 

L'empereur pense qu'il seroit utile de chercher a tirer parti de 
bons Espagnole pour reunir de vrais cortez qui pourroient avoir de 
l'influence sur les esprits : l'integrite de l'Espagne peut encore etre 
maintenue si les cortez operoient une reaction dans l'opinion : le 
Perou et le Mexique se sont deja declares independant, et toutes 
les autres colonies sont echapper a l'Espagne : les vrais Espagnols 
doivent savoir combien les Anglais les maltraitent. On voit par 
les gazettes Anglaises que les cortez rassembles dans l'ile de Leon 
ne furent qu'une miserable canaille et des gens obscures qui n'ont 
autre projet que d'aller vegeter dans les tavernes de Londres il ne 
peut y avoir rien a faire avec de pareils hommes. Sa majeste 
trouve qu'il y auroit un grand avantage a. former des cortez tirer 
de toutes les provinces de l'Espagne occupees par les armees 

2 M 2 


franchises. Une discussion eclairee qui s'etabliroit auroit beau- 
coup d'influence sur les esprits. L'empereur est oblige d'aban- 
donner le projet qu'il avoit de s'entendre avec les cortez de l'ile de 
Leon, puisque ce n'est qu'un compose de gens sans aveu : ce ne 
seroit done qu'avec des cortez forme d'hommes tires de toutes les 
parties de l'Espagne qu'on pourroit eclairer l'opinion des Espagnols 
qui aiment leur pays. 

L'ambassadeur de l'empereur a transmis des plaintes sur votre 
major-general. Votre majeste commande l'armee du centre. Par 
consequent la hierarchie militaire ne peut pas permettre qu'il 
s'ecarte de ses devoirs. Si je correspond souvent avec le general 
Belliard, e'est que votre majeste est un general roi, et que je dois 
lui eviter des details qu'un major-general lui soumet. 

Aucun village d'Espagne n'a ete reuni a la France, et l'em- 
pereur tient a ce que votre majeste ait en Espagne toute la consi- 
deration qui lui est due. Tout depend encore du parti qu'on peut 
tirer de la nation. Ce qu'il y a de certain, e'est que les Anglais 
n'ont qu'un but; celui de ruiner la peninsule, de la detruire, 
parcequ'ils sentent bien qu'elle doit finir par appartenir a. la 
France ou a un prince de la maison de l'empereur, et qu'ils 
trouvent un grand avantage a diviser un pays qu'il savent ne 
pouvoir gardes. 

Je presente a votre majeste l'hommage avec mon respect. 
Le Prince Neufchatel, Major-General, 


Paris, ce 6 Mai, 1811. 
SiRE,-~J'ai montre a, l'empereur la lettre de votre majeste, en 
date du 21 Avril par laqu'elle elle fait connoitre qu'elle se met en 
route pour Paris: l'empereur ne s'attendoit pas a cette resolution; 
votre majeste lui ayant promis de ne pas quitter l'Espagne sans 
etre convenu a l'avance des mesures a. prendre et qu'exige une 
pareille determination. L'empereur trouve que dans ces circon- 
stances le depart de votre majeste devoit etre precede de levacua- 
tion de 1'Andalousie afin de concentrer les armees. Car dans la 
position des choses, le depart de votre majeste va donner une 
secousse defavorable a la situation des armees de l'empereur. Si 
votre majeste avoit quitte l'Espagne au mois de Janvier, ou les 
armees etoient en position sans agir, cela auroit eu moins d'incon- 
venient. Dans ce moment votre arrivee met l'empereur dans de 
grandes inquietudes, en vous considerant comme roi d'Espagne, 
et comme general-en-chef, l'empereur voit que votre retour sera 


interprets selon l'esprit et la tournure que les Anglais voudront y 
donner, et fera un mauvais effet ; qu'il est penible que votre ma- 
jeste se soit portee a cette demarche dont il ne peut resulter aucun 
avantage, et qui peut avoir beaucoup d'inconvenients, car dans ce 
moment d'agitation, I'Espagne va se trouver sans chef. Votre 
majeste ne voulant pas rester a Madrid, l'empereur trouve qu'il 
auroit ete ties utile qu'elle allat passer la revue de l'armee de Por- 
tugal ou de l'armee d'Andalousie ; l'influence de votre majeste 
auroit surtout ete bien utile pour procurer a l'armee de Por- 
tugal tout ce qui lui est necessaire. L'empereur, sire, est dans 
une grande anxiete de savoir a qui vous avez donne le commande- 
ment de l'armee du centre ; si vous avez prevenu le due de 
DaJmatie de votre depart, et qui etant aux mains avec l'ennemi 
trouvera ses embarras augmentes, n'ayant aucune direction sur 
ses derrieres. S'il etoit possible que votre majeste recut cette 
lettre encore en Espag-ne, l'empereur m'ordonne d 'engager votre 
majeste a sentir les inconveriiens de son retour si contraire aux 
circonstances. L'empereur n'a aucune nouvelle ni de l'armee 
d'Andalousie ni de l'armee du centre. J'expedie a votre majeste 

un de mes aides-de-camp. Etc. etc. 


Paris, le 1 Juin, 1811. 
Sire, — L'empereur a examine attentivement les observations 
que votre majeste lui a adressees, et me present de me rendre 
aupres d'elle pour avoir l'honneur de lui donner connoissance de 
ce qu'il juge le plus convenable sur les divers points qui en sont 
l'objet. L'empereur pense, sire, que votre majeste peut partir 
de Paris quand elle le jugera a-propos, et meme sans attendre son 
retour, si cela entrait dans les intentions de votre majeste. 
L'armee du centre en Espagne est pleinement entierement sous les 
ordres de votre majeste, le general Belliard ne doit point prendre 
le titre de major general, mais celui que lui ont toujours attribue 
les ordres emanees de l'empereur, de chef d'etat major de l'armee 
du centre. Si votre majeste n'est pas content de ce general, je vous 
engage, sire, a en proposer un autre qui ait votre confiance. 
C'est a votre majeste, sire, qu'il appartient de suspendre, de 
renvoyer, de traduire meme a des commissions militaires quand il 
y a lieu, les generaux et officiers de l'armee du centre ; d'admi- 
nistrer les provinces comprises dans l'arrondissement de cette 
armee comme votre majeste le jugera le plus convenable au bien 
du service. A l'armee du nord de l'Espagne, l'empereur a besoin 
d'un marechal qui soit charge du commandement des troupes 


stationees dans les provinces formant l'arrondissement de cette 
armee. Le marechal due d'Istrie exerce maintenant ce commande- 
ment ; dans le cas, sire, ou ce marechal ne conviendroit pas a. 
V. M. l'empereur ne serait pas eloigne de le remplacer par le 
marechal Jourdan, si cette disposition etoit agreable a votre 
majeste et a. ce marechal. Mais l'empereur ne juge pas qu'on 
puisse rien changer a l'organisation de l'armee du nord ; il est 
essentiel que cette organisation reste telle qu'elle est, si ce n'est 
de mettre cette armee sous les ordres d'un marechal francais qui 
possede d'avantage la confiance de votre majeste. Dans les 
gouvernemens qui forment l'arrondissement de cette armee, e'est 
au nom de votre majeste, sire, que la justice doit se rendre ; le 
commandant doit envoyer des rapports journaliers a V. M. 
l'intendant general M. Dudon doit envoyer a V. M. l'etat de la per- 
ception des contributions et de leur emploi. L'empereur pense 
que V. M. doit avoir aupres du general-en-chef de l'armee du 
nord un commissaire Espagnol pour veiller a ce que le quart 
du revenu des provinces de l'arrondissement de cette armee, soit 
verse a Madrid pour le service de votre majeste et pour secourir 
l'armee du centre. L'empereur consent a ce que toutes les fois 
que les provinces auraient les moyens necessaires pour se garder 
et se garantir des incursions des guerillas, elles puissent rentrer 
entitlement sous l'administration Espagnole en ne fournissant que 
ce qui sera convenu. Quant a l'armee du midi de l'Espagne, 
l'empereur approuve qu' ainsi qu' a, l'armee du nord, le marechal 
qui commande envoie des rapports a V. M. et l'instruire de tout 
ce qui se passe ; les budgets en recettes et en depenses des dif- 
ferentes provinces de l'armee du midi, doivent aussi etre envoyes 
a votre majeste, qui y tiendra un commissaire pour percevoir le 
quart des revenues. 

La meme methode sera pareillement appliquee a l'armee 
d'Arragon. L'empereur, sire, satisfait aussi aux desirs exprimes 
par V. M. Quant a ce qui concerne le commandement general 
de ses armees en Espagne, sa majeste ne croit pas pouvoir donner 
untel commandement qui doit etre simple et un ; votre M. sentira 
qu'il est dans la nature des choses qu'un marechal resident a 
Madrid et dirigeant les operations voudrait en avoir la gloire avec 
la responsibilite, et que dans ce cas, les commandans des armees 
du midi et de Portugal se croyant moins reellement sous les 
ordres de votre M. que sous de son chef d'etat major, pourraient 
ne pas obeir, ou executer ce qui leur serait present. Mais inde- 
pendamment du commandement de l'armee du centre, V. M. 


sire, aurait le commandement des troupes qui entreraient dans 
l'aiTondissement de cette armee. Si l'armee du Midi se repliait 
sur l'armee du centre, elle serait des-lors sous les ordres de V. M. 
et il en serait de meme pour l'armee de centre. 

Dans celles des armees ou V. M. se rendrait, elle aurait les 
honneurs du commandement; mais, sire, l'empereur juge tres 
important de ne rien changer au commandement militaire ni a 
l'armee du nord, ni a l'armee d'Arragon, ni aux armees du midi 
et de Portugal, excepte ce qu'il est necessaire d etablir pour que 
V. M. ait des rapports de tout ce qui se passe, connaisse tout et 
puisse se servir de ces relations, dans sa position centrale, pour 
instruire les autres generaux : sa majeste pense que cette commu- 
nication de renseignemens, d 'observations, de conseils, peut m£me 
avoir lieu par le canal du ministre de la guerre de V. M. L'em- 
pereur desire, sire, que V. M. veuille bien correspondre directe- 
ment avec moi par des lettres signes de sa main ; j'aurai l'honneur 
d'adresser directement les miennes a V. M. l'empereur desire 
egalement qu'elle s'en reserve l'ouverture et fasse connaitre 
ensuite a son chef d'etat-major ce qu'elle jugera convenable. Je 
prie votre M. de vouloir bien donner ses ordres pour que tous les 
comptes rendus en etats de situation me soient adresses, que les 
rapports soient tres exacts et que je sois instruit de tout ce qui 
peut interesser le service de l'empereur comme cela est d'usage 
dans une armee. D'apres les ordres de l'empereur une somme de 
cinq cent mille francs par mois sera envoyee a V. M. jusqu'au 
ler Juillet, et a compter du ler Juillet, cet envoi sera d'un 
million par mois pendant le reste de l'annee. 

L'empereur, sire, me present d'avoir l'honneur de concerter 
avec votre majeste les mesures qu'elle jugera convenables a l'or- 
ganization de l'armee du centre ainsi que pour en retirer les 
generaux qui ne conviendraient pas a votre majeste, faire des 
examples de ceux qui auroient commis des dilapidations, leur faire 
restituer les sommes qu'ils auraient dilapidees ; enfin, sire, l'em- 
pereur se repose essentiellement sur votre majeste du soin de main- 
tenir les officiers de son armee dans la discipline convenable et de 
faire des examples, et il desire que V. M. envoie journellement 
des rapports detailles sur tout ce qui est important. Votre ma- 
jeste, sire, reconnaitra dans ces dispositions que le desir de 
l'empereur est de faire tout ce qui peut donner un nouvel eclat a. 
l'entree de V. M. en Espagne, en maintenant d'ailleurs dans leur 
integrite, ainsi que sa majeste le gage indispensable, l'organisation 
de l'armee d'Andalousie et des autres armees de l'Espagne. &c. 


Observations faites par le roi d' Espagne sur la lettre du major 
general, de la \ere Juin, 1811. 

Le roi demand e. 

1°. Que messrs. les marechaux commandant-en-chef les 

armees de l'empereur, a l'armee du nord, du Portugal, de midi, 

et de l'Arragon, ne puissent augmenter les impots existant a ce 

jour, ni lever aucune contribution extraordinaire sans l'autori- 

zation du roi, ou de l'empereur. 

2°. Le roi desire que le marechal Jourdan remplace le marechal 
due d'Istrie dans le commandemeiit de l'armee du nord. 

3°. Que les marechaux commandant les armees de l'empereur 
et les intendans general ne puissent vendre aucune bien national 
ou communal sans l'autorization du roi ; qu'il en soit de meme 
pour les plombs et vif argent appartenant a l'etat. 

4°. Que les administrations Espagnoles dans l'arrondissement 
des armees du nord, du midi, de l'Arragon, resteront telles qu'elles 
sont, et que si des changemens paroissent utiles, ils seront de- 
manded au roi. 

5°. Qu'il soit specifie que le quart des revenues des provinces 
occupees par les armees de l'empereur, en Espagne, sera verse 
net dans le tresor du roi a Madrid, et que les trois autre quartes 
seront employes aux besoin de l'armee dans les dites provinces, 
et en pavement des traitemens des administrations Espagnoles. 

6°. Le roi se trouvant avoir l'honneur du commandement pres des 
armees ou il se trouve, pense qu'il est dans les intentions de votre 
majeste qu'il puisse voir et reunir les autorites Espagnoles comme 
bon lui semblera pour leur parler dans l'interet des affaires d'Es- 
pagne : ce que le roi trouve utile de faire dans les lieux ou il 
I'arretera pour se rendre a Madrid. 

7°. II paroit entendu que le marechal commandant l'armee de 
Portugal rendra compte au roi des toutes les operations, aussi que 
doivent le faire les autres marechaux. 

8°. Le roi trouve utile pour les interets des affaires d 'Espagne 
de pouvoir s'attacher des officiers Espagnols ou autres qui se 
trouveroient parmi les prisonniers, etqui par des motifs particuliers 
il jugeroit convenable d'employer. 

9°. Le roi de Westphalie qui ne peut pas recruter les regimens 
qu'il a en Espagne est dispose a mettre le petit nombre d'hommes 
qui restent aux drapeaux a la disposition du roi d'Espagne pour 
etre a la solde et a son service ; le roi d!Espagne les placeroit utile- 
ment dans la guarde. 


10°. Le roi desire que le general Maurice Mathieu remplace 
le general Lorge. 

1 1°. Qu'il ne reste a Madrid que l'administration necessaire 
pour l'armee du centre, et que cette grande quantite d'adminis- 
trateurs appartenant a l'administration generale qui n'existe plus 
a Madrid soit envoyee a Burgos ou en France. 

12°. Que la solde des troupes francaises faisant partie de 
l'armee du centre continue n'etre payee par le tresor de France. 

13°. Sa majeste conservera le general Belliard comme chef de 
son etat major. 

14°. Le roi desire pouvoir prendre toutes les mesures politiques 
qu'il jug-era convenable, et faire toutes autres dispositions a l'egard 
de cortez en se conformant aux vues contenues dans la lettre que 
j'ai ecrite d'apres l'ordre de V. M. pour cet objet. 

15°. Sur les 500,000 francs que V. M. met a la disposition 
du roi a Madrid on en retient 100,000 francs pour l'arriere. Le 
roi demande que cette somme soit pour le service courant. 

Paris, le 17 Juin, 1811. 

Sire, — L'empereur m'ordonne de vous envoyer la copie de 
la lettre que j'adresse au due d'Istrie : j'ecris a-peu-pres dans les 
memes termes aux autres commandants. Je n'ai pas encore vu 
le marechal Jourdan ; je le verrai demain et immediatement apres 
il partira pour Madrid, ou l'empereur apprendra avec plaisir qu'il 
est employe comme gouverneur. 

Le due de Raguse mande qu'il est en marche sur le Tage. 
L'empereur desire que V. M. donne ses ordres pour qu'on lui pro- 
cure tous les secours dont il peut avoir besoin : il a avec lui vingt- 
huit mille bayonnettes, trois mille hommes de cavalerie, et trent- 
six pieces de canon. L'empereur desire que V. M. puisse 
l'appuyer avec dixhuit cent cbevaux, quinze a dixhuit pieces de 
canon et deux a trois mille hommes d'infanterie : ce corps pourroit 
etre place a proximite afin de pouvoir rejoindre et aider le due 
de Raguse, s'il devoit donner bataille aux Anglais. L'empereur 
verroit avec plaisir, Sire, qu'apres votre arrivee a Madrid vous 
vous rendissiez a l'armee de Portugal, pour la passer en revue, 
l'animer, et prendre dans votre revue l'etat des emplois vacans. 

J'ecris au due de Raguse que si Ton pouvoit retrancher Al- 
cantara et faire une tete de pont sur la rive droite, ce seroit une 
bonne operation. Si l'armee de Portugal arrivoit a terns pour 
secounr l'armee du midi devant Badajoz, le petit corps de reserve 
dont je viens de parler ci-dessus a votre majeste ne pourroit etre 
que de la plus grande utilite. 


Le siege de Tarragone a deja attire une partie des bandes qui 
etoient dans l'arrondissement de l'armee du centre. Deux divisions 
de l'armee de reserve que forme l'empereur arriveront l'une a 
Pampelune, l'autre a Vittoria vers le 14 Juillet: cela mettra a 
meme denvoyer encore aux armees du midi et de Portugal 
environ douze milles hommes qui sont en Navarre, et qui pas- 
seront par Madrid. 

L'Empereur ne peut qu'engager votre majeste a envoyer a. 
l'armee du midi tout ce qui lui appartient, car c'est la que se 
portent les grands coups et qu'ont lieu les operations les plus 

&c. &c. 


To the duke of I stria. 

Paris, Juin 1811. 

J'ai prevenu, monsieur le marechal, le general Monthion, les 
generaux Caffarelli et Dorsenne directement les dispositions dont 
je vais vous entretenir, et qui ont rapport aux intentions de 
l'empereur relativement au retour de roi d'Espagne dans ses 

Le roi commande en chef l'armee du centre, mais l'intention 
de l'empereur est que vous correspondiez avec S. M. C. en lui 
faissant le rapport de ce qui se passe afin de la mettre a meme de 
connoitre l'ensemble des evenemens en Espagne comme les autres 
generaux en chef ont l'ordre d'en agir de meme, le roi sera 
dans le cas de pouvoir comme point central vous faire faire des 
communications qui contribueront au succes des armes de l'em- 

S. M. I. m'ordonne aussi de vous faire connaitre, M. le due, 
que son intention est que pendant le voyage du roi dans son retour 
a Madrid, tous les honneurs lui soient rendus dans les gouverne- 
mens et dans l'arrondissement de l'armee du nord comme si S. M. 
commandait cette armee. Le roi donnera l'ordre et recevra les 
honneurs du commandement. Les gouverneurs l'accompagneront 
dans leur gouvernement et lui feront fournir toutes les escortes qui 
lui seront necessaires. II est a presumer que le roi sejournera 
quelque terns a Vittoria et a Burgos, et qu'il profitera de son sejour 
pour rassembler les notables du pays les eclairer sur la situation 
des affaires,et ameliorer l'esprit public. Vous seconderez, mons. 
le marechal, les mesures que le roi pourra prendre pour rendre les 


villes et les villages responsibles des abus qui se commettent sur 
leur territoire. Vous agirez de meme si le roi accorde le pardon 
a quelques bandes de guerillas qui se rendraient. Vous devez 
aider de tous vos moyens les mesures que S. M. prendra pour le 
retablissement de l'ordre et de la tranquillite publique. Du reste 
les troupes composant l'armee du nord doivent rester sous le com- 
mandement respectif de leurs chefs et vos ordres doivent con- 
tinuer a etre executes sans qu'aucun ordre de qui que ce soit 
puisse les changer. Quant a l'administration du pays, elle doit 
continuer a marcher dans la direction donnee par les instructions 
et les ordres de l'empereur ; les fonds doivent etre destinees aux 
besoins de l'armee, a l'entretien des hopitaux, et vous devez 
defendre et empecher toute espece d'abus. Le roi ayant plus 
particulierement encore que vous, les moyens de connaitre les 
abus qu'ont lieu, l'empereur ordonne que vous profiteriez des 
lumieres que le roi pourra vous donner a cet egard pour les 
reprimer. II est necessaire, monsieur le due, que vous me fassiez 
connaitre le budjet des ressources et des depenses afin de savoir 
la partie des revenues qui pourront etre verses a Madrid, dans la 
caisse du gouvernement pour le service du roi et pour l'armee du 

Je n'ai pas besoin de vous repeter que la justice doit se rendre 
au nom du roi ; cela a toujours du avoir lieu ; le droit de faire 
grace ne vous appartient pas pour les individus condamnes par les 
tribunaux ; vous n'etes autorise qu'a suspendre 1'execution dans 
les cas que vous jugerez graciables. Le droit de faire grace 
n'appartient qu'au roi. Vous n'avez pas non plus le droit de 
nommer a aucune place du clerge ; le roi y nomme dans toutes 
les parties de son royaume. 

Si le roi juge a-propos de tenir pres de vous et des gouverneurs 
un commissaire Espagnol pour connaitre les recettes et les de- 
penses, vous devez donner a ce commissaire les renseignemens 
dont il aura besoin pour remplir sa mission. Vous aurez soin, 
monsieur le marechal, de me rendre compte journellement de ce 
qui se sera fait pendant le sejour du roi afin que j'en informe 

&c. &c. 

Paris, le 24 A out, 1811. 

Sire, — J'ai l'honneur d'informer votre majeste que d'apres 

les ordres de l'empereur, je viens de faire connaitre a M. le 

marechal due de Raguse que l'armee de Portugal doit prendre 


desormais sa ligne de communication sur Madrid ; je lui mande 
que c'est la que doit etre son centre de depot, et que toute ope- 
ration que l'ennemi ferait sur la Coa ne peut deranger cette ligne ; 
que si l'ennemi veut prendre l'offensive il ne peut la prendre que 
dans l'Andalousie parceque de ce cote il a un objet a remplir, 
qui est de faire lever le siege de Cadiz, tandis que ses efforts dans 
le nord s'avenca-t-il meme jusqu'a Valladolid, n'aboutiraient a 
rien puisque les troupes que nous avons dans ces provinces en 
se repliant lui opposeraient une armee considerable et qu' alors 
1'armee de Portugal devrait faire pour l'armee du nord ce qu'elle 
ferait pour l'armee du midi. Je le previens que l'objet important 
est que sa ligne d'operations soit sur Talavera et Madrid parceque 
son armee est specialement destinee a proteger celle du midi. Je 
lui fais observer que l'armee de Portugal etant attaquee de front, 
son mouvement de retraite est encore sur Madrid parceque dans 
tous les cas possibles ce doit etre sa lig-ne d'operations, qu'il faut 
done que tous les depots quelconques appartinant a l'armee de 
Portugal soient diriges sur Talavera et Madrid. Je donne l'ordre 
imperatif au general Dorsenne de faire partir dans les 24 heures 
tous les depots et detachemens qu'il a appartenant a l'armee de 
Portugal ; tout ce qui est en etat de servir sera dirige en gros de- 
tachemens par Avila sur Placentia, et quant aux hommes qui ne 
sont pas pour le moment en etat de servir, le general Dorsenne 
les fera dinger sur Madrid, et aura soin d'en informer a 1'avance 
votre majeste, de maniere qu'il ne lui restera plus un seul homme 
appartenant a. l'armee de Portugal, sauf la garnison de Ciudad 
Rodrigo qu'il fera relever et rejoindre aussitot apres l'arrivee des 
renforts qui vont se rendre a l'armee du nord." 

&c. &c. 

Boulogne, le 20 Sept. 1811. 
Sire, — L'empereur m'a demande si j'avois reponse a. la lettre 
que j'ai eu l'honneur d'adresser a V. M. en lui rendant compte 
de la reddition de Figueras. L'empereur m'ordonne d'annoncer 
a V. M. que son intention est d'etendre a toute la rive gauche 
de l'Ebre la mesure qu'elle a juge devoir adopter pour la Cata- 
logne. L'empereur pense que V. M. temoin de la resistance 
qui eprouvent les armees et des sacrifices des toutes especes que 
la France est oblige de faire, est trop juste pour ne point apprecier 
les motifs de la conduite de l'Empereur, et je suis autorise a 
assurer V. M. des sentimens d'intcret et d'amitie qui continuent a 


animer l'empereur pour V. M. mais il ne pouvent pas faire 
negliger a S. M. I. et R. ce qu'elle doit a la surete de son em- 
pire et a, la gloire de son regne. 

&c. &c. 

No. IV. 



To Mr. Stuart. 
" You are to enter into no political engagements." 

To James Duff, Esq. 

"July 26, 1808. 

" You will embark on board his majesty's ship, Stately ; on 
board of that ship are embarked to the amount of one million of 
Spanish dollars, three fourths in dollars and one fourth in bars, 
which sum is consigned to your care and is destined by his ma- 
jesty for the use of the kingdom of Andalusia and the provinces 
of Spain connected with them. 

" His majesty has no desire to annex any conditions to the 
pecuniary assistance which he furnishes to Spain." 

" Military stores to a considerable amount are now actually 
shipping for Cadiz, and the articles required for the clothing of 
the Andalusian army will follow." 

" It was only by a direct but secret understanding with the 
government of Spain, under the connivance of France, that any 
considerable amount of dollars has been collected in England." 
" Each province of Spain made its own application with reference 
to the full amount of its own immediate necessities, and to the 
full measure of its own intended exertions, but without taking 
into consideration that similar necessities and similar exertions 
lead to similar demands from other parts, and that though each 
separate demand might in itself be reasonably supposed to come 
within the limits of the means of Great Britain, yet that the 
whole together occasion a call for specie, such as never before 
was made upon this country at any period of its exib nee." 

M In the course of the present year it is publicly notorious 


that a subsidy is paid by Great Britain to Sweden of one million 
two hundred thousand pounds, the whole of which, or nearly 
the whole, must be remitted in specie, amounting to at least 
seven million dollars. One million of dollars has already been 
sent to Gihon, another to Coruna in part of the respective de- 
mands of the principality of Asturias and the kingdom of Gallicia, 
and the remainder of these demands as already brought forward 
would require not less than eight million dollars more to satisfy 
them." — " An application from Portugal has also been received for 
an aid, which will amount to about twelve or thirteen hundred 
thousand dollars, one million as has been stated goes in the ship 
with you to Cadiz, and the remainder of the Andalusian demand 
would require between three and four millions of dollars more. 
Here, therefore, there are not less than three-and-twenty mil- 
lions of dollars, of which near sixteen millions for Spain and 
Portugal required to be suddenly drawn from the British 

" In addition to this drain it is also to be considered that the 
British armies are at the same moment sent forth in aid of the 
same cause, and that every article of expence to be incurred by 
them on foreign service in whatever country they may be em- 
ployed, must be defrayed by remittances in silver."* — " You will 
be particularly careful in entering upon the explanation with the 
junta of Seville, to avoid any appearance of a desire to overrate 
the merit and value of the exertions now making by Great 
Britain in favour of the Spanish nation, or to lay the ground for 
restraining or limiting those exertions within any other bounds 
than those which are prescribed by the limits of the actual means 
of the country." 

Mr. Canning to Mr. Stuart. 

July 27, 1808. 
" Already the deputy from Coruna has added to his original 

* Note by Editor.— Nevertheless sir John Moore had only £25,000 in 
his military chest, and sir David Baird only £8,000 which were given 
him by sir John Moore. 

Admiral De Courcy to Mr. Stuart, October 21, 1808. 
'' Mr. Frere will have told you that the Semiramis has brought a mil- 
lion of dollars in order to lie at his disposal, besides £50,000 in dollars, 
which are to be presented to the army of the marquis of Romana." — '* In 
the meantime the British troops remain in their transports at Coruna, un- 
certain whether they shall be invited to the war, and without a shilling 
to defray their expences." 


demand for two millions of dollars, a further demand for three 
millions on learning from the Asturian deputies that the demand 
from Asturias had amounted to five millions in the first instance. 
Both profess in conversation to include a provision for the in- 
terests of Leon and of Old Castile in the demand. But this has 
not prevented a direct application from Leon." 

" It is besides of no small disadvantage that the deputies from 
the Asturias and Gallicia having" left Spain at so early a period 
are really not competent to furnish information or advice upon the 
more advanced state of things in that country." — " I have already 
stated to you that in applications for succours, there is an under- 
ground appearance of rivalry, which with every disposition to do 
every thing that can be done for Spain, imposes a necessity of 
perpetual caution with respect to the particular demands of each 
province. The Asturians having been rebuked by their consti- 
tuents for not having applied for pecuniary aid as quickly as the 
Gallicians are bent upon repairing this fault, and the Gallician 
having been commended for promptitude, is ambitious of ac- 
quiring new credit by increasing the amount of his demand. 
Whatever the ulterior demands, these several provinces have to 
make, will be made with infinitely more effect through you and 
Mr. Hunter respectively, as they will then come accompanied with 
some detailed and intelligible exposition of the grounds and objects 
of each particular application." 

Mr. Stuart's despatches to Mr. Canning. 

Coruna, July 22, 1808. 
" Accounts of advantages in the quarters, which from the 
present state of things can have little or no communication with 
this place, appear to be numerous in proportion as the north of 
Spain is barren of events agreeable to the existing government ; 
and I am disposed to consider unauthenticated reports of success 
in Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia, and Andalusia, to be a mode of 
concealing or palliating disasters in Leon, Castile, and the 

July 24, 1808. 

" One thousand men, under de Ponte, is the utmost force the 
Asturias have yet organized or sent into the field, and the con- 
tingents of Leon are very trifling. 

" Thirty thousand men, of which twenty thousand are regular 
troops under Blake, were united to ten thousand Castilian 


recruits under Cuesta. They went to Rio Seco to march against 
Burgos, and cut off Bessieres' retreat to France, but they lost 
seven thousand men at Rio Seco." 

" The Estremadura army under Gallegos is at Almaraz, con- 
sisting of twenty-four thousand infantry and four thousand 
cavalry, but the battle of Rio Seco has cut the communication 
which had been before kept up to Andalusia. 

Abstract of information sent to Mr. Canning by Mr. Stuart. 

July 26, 1808. 
" The 29th of May the inhabitants of Coruna appointed a 
provisional junta of forty members taken from the notables of the 
place, and this junta despatched circulars to the seven provinces 
of St. Jago, Betancos, Coruna, Mondonedo, Orense, Lugo, and 
Tuy, desiring that deputies from each should come to Coruna to 
form a junta for Gallicia entire. Seven persons came and im- 
mediately seized the government and dissolved the local junta; 
the troops marched to the frontier, deputies went to England, 
and all seemed to proceed well until contributions were de- 
manded. Then the provinces demurred saying, their deputies 
were empowered only to signify their approbation of what had 
past, but not to seize the government, and St. Jago insisted upon 
sending more deputies, and having additional votes as being of 
more consequence. It was then arranged that two deputies from 
each province should be sent to Coruna with more power. The 
archbishop and a Mr. Friere came from St. Jago, and others 
were arriving when the first deputation resolved not to submit, 
and declared the second to be an ordinary junta, chosen for the 
mere purpose of raising money, and subordinate to themselves. 
The archbishop and the bishop of Orense refused to act in such a 
capacity ; but a letter from the latter painting the true state of 
things being intercepted, he was arrested and confined in the 
citadel. A body of troops was sent to St. Jago, it was uncer- 
tain whether to seize the archbishop or to awe the people ; 
but Mr. Stuart was secretly assured it was for the former purpose. 
The archbishop thought so also and came immediately to 
Coruna. This transaction was studiously concealed from the 
English envoy but he penetrated the secret. The people were 
discontented at this usurpation of the junta of seven, but the 
lavish succours sent to them by Mr. Canning and the presence of 
Mr. Stuart induced them to submit, as thinking the junta were 
supported by England. 


" This junta of seven adopted no measures in common with 
any neighbouring province, but willingly entered into close alliance 
with the insurgents of Portugal as one independent state with 
another ; and they withheld any share of the English supplies for 
the armies of Asturias and Leon. 

" The archbishop was an intriguing dangerous man, and 
secretly wrote to Blake to march with the army against the junta, 
his letter being intercepted six voted to arrest him, but the seventh 
with the assistance of Mr. Stuart persuaded them to avoid so 
violent a measure as tending towards a civil commotion. Tumults 
however did take place, and the English naval officers were re- 
quested and consented to quell a riot, and it proved that they had 
more influence over the people than the junta. 

" In August the archbishop was commanded to leave Corufia, 
he obeyed, and the bishop of Orense was after some resistance 
made a member of the junta." 

Mr. Stuart to Mr. Canning. 

" August 7. 

" There is no common plan, and consequently no concert in 
their proceedings. No province shares the succour granted by 
Great Britain with its neighbour, although that advantage may 
not be useful to themselves. No gun-boats have been sent from 
Ferrol to protect St. Andero on the coast of Biscay, and the 
Asturians have in vain asked for artillery from the depots of 

" The stores landed at Gihon, and not used by the Asturians 
have remained in that port and in Oviedo, although they would 
have afforded a reasonable relief to the army of Blake. 

" The money brought by the Pluto for the province of Leon 
which has not raised a man and was till this moment in the 
hands of the French, remains unemployed in the port where it 
was landed. Estremadura is said to have nine thousand cavalry, 
which are of little service since the French quitted that province. 
Yet they have not sent a man to Blake who cannot prudently 
stir from his present position without cavalry. General Cuesta 
also has deprived him of six hundred horse and his flying ar- 
tillery with which he has actually quitted Salamanca on his way 
to join the Estremadura army/' 

VOL. IV. 2 N 


Ditto to Ditto. 


" August 12. 

" The duke of Infantado reached Blake's quarters, after es- 
caping from France. Blake gave him his confidence and sent him 
to Madrid to form a council of war, and to persuade Cuesta to 
send two thousand cavalry to the army of Gallicia. The junta 
did not approve of this ; they suspected Infantado as a double 
dealer and in the French interest. 

" After Baylen, the juntas of Seville and Murcia wished to esta- 
blish a despotism, differing- in nothing- from that of Charles III. 
and Charles IV. save that Florida Blanca was to be the head 
of a regency. But in the north they were all for liberty, and 
put forward the British constitution as a model. The army spoke 
of Infantado as regent, but the civilians disliked him. All the 
English guns sent out for Gallicia went by mistake to the 
Asturias, the succours were absurdly distributed and every thing 
was in confusion." 

Mr. Stuart to Mr. Canning. 

" Cortina, August 9. 

" I am placed at the very extremity of the kingdom where I 
cannot possibly obtain any sort of information respecting other 
provinces, and my presence has very materially contributed to 
cherish the project of separation from the rest of the peninsula 
in the minds of the Gallicians. 

" Besides the constant communication of the navy with the 
junta, a military mission is placed here consisting of several per- 
sons who communicate regularly with the government and the 
admiralty, and whose correspondence with England being a mere 
duplicate of my own renders the one or the other perfectly useless. 

The packet instead of coming weekly only arrived every fort- 
night, being sent to Gihon to carry home Mr. Hunter's letters, 
who I understand has no order to report to me ! 

" The admiral having no official notice of my situation here 
on the part of government, cannot be expected to detach vessels 
for the purpose of sending my despatches at a time when he is 
occupied in sending his own accounts of the events taking place 
in Spain to the admiralty. 





" January 5, 1810. 

" In return for these liberal supplies, his majesty is entitled to 
claim from the Portuguese government every assistance which 
can be afforded to the British commander and troops, a faithful 
and judicious application of the funds granted for the support of 
so large a portion of the Portuguese force, which must otherwise 
be supplied from the exclusive resources of Portugal." 

" I am commanded to signify to you the expectation that the ex- 
traordinary efforts of his majesty's government for the aid of Por- 
tugal, and the consequent pressure upon the British resources, will 
be met with corresponding exertions on the part of the regency, 
and that all local and temporary prejudices will be submitted to 
the urgent necessity of placing the finances of the kingdom in that 
state which may render them available for its defence in the ap- 
proaching danger. You will direct your immediate and vigilant 
attention to this most important object, nor will you refrain from 
offering, or even from urging, your advice on any occasion which 
may open the prospect of effecting any useful reduction in the 
civil charges, or augmentation in the revenues or military re- 
sources of the country." 

" In addition to these arrangements his majesty will expect 
to receive regular monthly accounts of the expenditure of the 
sums applicable to the military charges of Portugal, under 
the orders issued to lord Wellington, as well as accurate re- 
turns of the state and condition of the several corps receiving 

British pay." " It is also desirable that his majesty 

should be acquainted with the state and condition of that part 
of the Portuguese force which is to be maintained from the 
revenues of Portugal." " The crisis demands the most un- 
reserved confidence and communication between his majesty's 
ministers and the local government of the prince regent. No